Sign Gifts: Valid Today?

For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1.22-24).


Some denominations and churches place great emphasis on the importance of sign gifts, i.e., gifts of healing, prophecy, knowledge, and speaking in tongues.1 They maintain that evidence of these gifts confirms the presence of the Holy Spirit and that if a person does not manifest or exercise these gifts he is not a Christian or not a good one. This study will examine sign gifts to determine their history, purpose, and what biblical foundation exists for their presence today.

The Beginning of Signs and Miracles

The history of signs and miracles began with God’s dealings with the Jews. In about 2,000 B.C., God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees and promised He would make Abraham a great nation (Genesis 12.1-3). Abraham and Hagar, who was a handmaid to Abraham’s wife Sarah, had a son, Ishmael. This began the fulfillment of that work but Ishmael’s birth was a work of the flesh and revealed a lack of faith on the part of Abraham and Sarah (Galatians 4.23). But God, true to His promise, performed a miraculous sign to Abraham and Sara with the birth of their son, Isaac. Isaac, therefore, was the child of promise (Genesis 17.1-22, 21.1-7). God’s covenant worked through this line, not the line of Ishmael (Genesis 17.15-22). Throughout the lives of Isaac and Jacob God provided His superintending care upon the Jews and manifested His presence. He performed miraculous signs when the Jews were in bondage in Egypt and demonstrated He was superior to the gods of the Egyptians. After Moses fled Egypt to live in the desert for 40 years, God commissioned him to lead the Jews from slavery into the land He had promised to Abraham and his progeny (Genesis 12.1, 15.18-21). God spoke to Moses:

19But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. 20So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go (Exodus 3.19-20).

Throughout the record of Exodus we learn how God performed miracles and signs to reveal his power and to bring Israel out of bondage into the promised land. These events took place about 1,500 B.C. Listed below are miracles God performed to Israel during the Exodus period. These miraculous signs demonstrated God’s superiority over the gods of the Egypt and His care for Israel.

  1. Aaron’s rod changed into a serpent (Exodus 7.10-12).
  2. The ten plagues of Egypt–a) Waters turned to blood, b) Frogs, c) Lice, d) Flies, e) Murrain, f) Boils, g) Thunder and hail, h) Locusts, i) Darkness, j) Death of the first-born (Exodus 7.20-12:30).
  3. Red Sea divided: Israel passed through it while the Egyptian army drowned (Exodus 14.21-31).
  4. Waters of Marah sweetened (Exodus 15.23-25).
  5. Manna sent daily, except on Sabbath (Exodus 16.14-35).
  6. Water from the rock at Rephidim (Massah) (Exodus 17.5-7) and at Kadesh (Meribah) (Numbers 20.1-13).

Thus, God’s dealings with the Jews was characterized by miracles. Some periods had more signs or miracles than others but throughout Jewish history miracles occurred.

Until John the Baptist, over 400 years had passed in Israel’s history since they had had a prophet. During this time God performed no miracles to the Jews. That was a long time. It may explain why the Sadducees did not believe in the miraculous and supernatural. Then, after 400 years, God restarted signs and miracles. The birth of John the Baptist, Jesus’ half-cousin, was miraculous. John’s birth was similar to the birth of Isaac for both the parents of Isaac and John were past the child-bearing years (Luke 1.5-25, 39-45 cf. Genesis 18.9-15). The Lord’s birth was both miraculous and unique: He was born of a virgin (Luke 1.26-38). Both births were announced by angels.

After John the Baptist found himself in Herod’s prison after proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God (Matthew 3.1-3), he began to doubt his message and wondered if Jesus truly was the promised Messiah. He could not reconcile why he was locked in prison if Jesus was the King who would soon set up His promised kingdom. Matthew recorded:

2Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” 4Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me” (Matthew 11.2-6).

Jesus’ answer to John was that He was the promised One because He performed the signs of the Messiah according to the Scriptures (Isaiah 35.5; 61.1). These signs authenticated His person and message. We know from the gospels that Jesus performed hundreds if not thousands of miracles. The record of Jesus’ miracles in the gospels are only samples of His many miracles. John recorded:

30Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name (John 20.30-31).


24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true. 25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written (John 21.24-25).

The point of this brief review is to recognize that God performed miraculous signs for Jews and through Jews. When God performed a miracle that involved Gentiles, He used Jews, e.g., Naaman (2 Kings 5.1-14). The purpose of these signs was to authenticate that He was the one true God (cf. Acts 2.22).

The Post-Gospels Period

Mark 16.14-182

14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.

In the passage above, Mark recorded Jesus’ words that miraculous signs would continue among those who had believed in Him. And so they did according to Luke’s history.

Signs in Acts

The greatest of all the miraculous signs was the Lord’s resurrection (Acts 2.22-24, 32, 3.14-15). If you believe in His resurrection, the other miracles and signs are easy. If you don’t believe in the Lord’s resurrection, you have a much greater problem: you are without Christ, without hope, and without eternal life. To be a Christian, one must believe in Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Luke provided a historical record in Acts that the signs and miracles that characterized the Lord’s ministry continued. The following signs and miracles occurred. The first set is associated with Peter and the Twelve:

  1. Peter and John healed a lame man at the Temple (Acts 3.1-11).
  2. The Twelve performed many signs (σημεῖον) and wonders (τέρας) to the Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 5.12-16).
  3. Peter healed Eneas of paralysis at Lydda (Acts 9.32-35).
  4. Peter raised Tabitha, or Dorcas, to life from the dead at Joppa (Acts 9.36-42).
  5. An angel delivered Peter out of prison in Jerusalem (Acts 12.7-17).

The second set of miracles is associated with Paul.

  1. Paul caused Elymas, the sorcerer, to be blinded for a season at Paphos (Acts 13.6-11).
  2. Paul healed a cripple Lystra (Acts 14.8-10).
  3. Paul cast out a spirit of divination at Philippi (Acts 16.16-18)
  4. God caused an earthquake to open Paul and Silas’s prison doors (and all the other prisoners) at Philippi (Acts 16.25-26).
  5. Paul healed multitudes at Corinth (Acts 19.11-12).
  6. Paul raised Eutychus to life from death at Troas (Acts 20.9-12).
  7. Paul was unaffected by the venom of a viper at Malta (Acts 28.3-6).
  8. Paul healed the father of Publius and others Malta (Acts 28.7-9).

Gift of Healing

The gift of healing operated in Paul’s ministry until about 60 A.D. The last account we have of Paul’s ability to heal is in Acts 28.8-9 when he was on Malta. There, he healed Publius’ father as well as many others. After he reached Rome, Paul could no longer heal (cf. Philippians 2.27; 1 Timothy 5.23; 2 Timothy 4.20). The gift of healing may have disappeared even earlier from among the Twelve. James probably penned his letter in the late 40s. He wrote:

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit (James 5.13-18).

This passage reveals that the gift of healing was apparently no longer active. Instead, James wrote that the elders were to anoint the ill with oil and pray over him for healing.

What is clear from all the accounts of healing is they were not “shows.” No one with the gift of healing gathered a crowd and brought people together to be healed. The “faith-healing” gatherings which occur today are shams and dishonor God. Those who proclaim such are deceivers.

The Gift of Tongues: γλῶσσα and διάλεκτος

Two Greek words are used for languages: γλῶσσα and διάλεκτος. The word γλῶσσα may be used for the tongue, the physical organ of speech, and for a language. The word διάλεκτος is used only of a language. The occurrences always refer to known languages.

Usage of γλῶσσα for “speaking in tongues”
Acts 2.3, 4, 11, 10.46, 19.6
1 Corinthians 12.10, 28, 30, 13.1, 8, 14.2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 39.
Usage of διάλεκτος for “speaking in tongues”
Acts 1:19, 2:6, 8, 21:40, 22:2, 26:14

Paul knew a lot about the gift of tongues; he could speak in more tongues than anyone (1 Corinthians 14.18). Paul loved the Corinthians but this church had more spiritual problems than any other. The problems were chiefly of two kinds: immaturity and carnality. The Corinthians had become so enamored with the gift of tongues that they regarded it as the most important gift. But according to Paul it was the least important gift. To correct the tongue speaking excesses of the Corinthians, Paul laid out specific guidelines:

  1. The value of tongues was in their being understood (1 Corinthians 14.6-20).
  2. Tongues were a sign for unbelievers not believers (1 Corinthians 14.21-22).
  3. Uncontrolled speaking in tongues would lead an unbeliever to conclude madmen comprised the church (1 Corinthians 14.23).
  4. No more than two or three were to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 14.27).
  5. No one should speak in tongues unless someone was present to interpret what was said (1 Corinthians 14.28).
  6. Women were forbidden to speak in tongues (1 Corinthians 14.34).

If Paul’s guidelines were followed today, how much tongue-speaking would exist? The answer is: none. No tongue-speaking church exists that follows Paul’s rules. What conclusion should we draw from the Scriptures? The answer should be obvious: no legitimate tongue-speaking exists in Christendom today.

The Apostle Paul and Sign Gifts

Paul’s great doctrinal discourse on sign gifts, 1 Corinthians 13, is popularly known as the “love chapter.” Paul’s point in this passage was the message that the most important elements of Christianity were faith, hope, and love, with love being superior to all. Paul recognized sign gifts were useful to the church but that they were temporary. Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 13

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

In the above passage, Paul wrote of the gift of prophecy, the gift of knowledge, the gift of faith, the gift of tongues. Paul declared these sign gifts would cease but that faith, hope, and love would continue. Paul likened the enumerated sign gifts to things of a “child” which are put aside when one reaches adulthood. The sign gifts were “partial,” that is, they were useful to the church in its “child” stage but would cease when the “perfect” came.

What Did Paul Mean by τέλειος?

Much discussion has taken place as to what Paul meant by “perfect” (τέλειος) in 1 Corinthians 13.10. To better understand his meaning we need to examine how Paul used the word elsewhere. Paul used the word 8 times (10x if we include Hebrews). The translated word is followed by [τέλειος] in the table.

Paul’s Usage of τέλειος Verse
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [τέλειος].Romans 12.2
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature [τέλειος]; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;1 Corinthians 2.6
but when the perfect [τέλειος] comes, the partial will be done away.1 Corinthians 13.10
Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature [τέλειος].1 Corinthians 14.20
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature [τέλειος] man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.Ephesians 4.13
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect [τέλειος], have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;Philippians 3.15
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete [τέλειος] in Christ.Colossians 1.28
Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect [τέλειος] and fully assured in all the will of God.Colossians 4.12
But solid food is for the mature [τέλειος], who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.Hebrews 5.14
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect [τέλειος] tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;Hebrews 9.11

An examination of these passages reveals that Paul’s preferred meaning for τέλειος was “mature” rather than “perfect” as in perfection. Paul wanted the Corinthians to grow up and not remain immature in their thinking. The Corinthians had a problem with their attitude and with their use of spiritual gifts which Paul wrote to correct. Paul instructed them that love reigned supreme over the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge (verse 8). The sign gifts were “partial,” i.e., temporary. They provided insight into God’s will but could only provide a limited, i.e., “partial” view, what Paul called “through a glass darkly” (KJV), or as above, “in a mirror dimly.” Notice that the sign gifts that Paul enumerated were primarily communication gifts, i.e., gifts of prophecy, knowledge, tongues.

Paul wrote they would cease when the “perfect” came. What did he mean by the “perfect?” Many conclude “the perfect” is Christ Himself. But such an interpretation is at odds with how Paul used the word τέλειος. Paul used the word in the sense of “mature” or “complete.” What became mature or complete? It was the Word of God that became “mature” or “complete” when the last book of the New Testament was written. When the Word of God was completed the need for the communication gifts of prophecy, knowledge, and tongues ceased (1 Corinthians 13.8).

God completed His Word through the apostle Paul. Most of Christendom thinks John wrote the last portion of the Scriptures. This is incorrect. John wrote his gospel and epistles (including Revelation) most likely in the late 40s and early 50s. Paul wrote 2 Timothy around 67-68 A.D. This was the last book written and it completed the canon of Scripture. How do we know this? In Colossians 1.25, Paul wrote:

ἧς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ

The NASB translation of this verse is poor; the KJV version is much better, which my translation follows closely, which is how the verse was translated by Darby (Colossians 1.25 DARBY):

“of which [Church] I was made a servant according to the dispensation of God that was given to me to you to complete the word of God.”

The word translated “complete” is πληρόω and means “complete,” “consummate,” “fulfill.” Most interpret this verse to mean Paul meant he was fulfilling God’s will. But given the context, it means much more (cf. Colossians 1.9, 2.10, 4.12, 17 for other uses of the word in this letter). Thus, 2 Timothy completed the Scriptures. It was the last book written in our New Testament.

God chose Paul to reveal “secrets” μυστήριον He had kept hidden. These “secrets” revealed a whole new program God had not revealed by the prophets, Jesus in His earthly ministry, and the ministry of the Twelve. This new program, the Church, the body of Christ, came as a result of God’s grace due to Israel’s unbelief.3 As such, the revelations God gave Paul completed the Scriptures since the Church, the body of Christ, was wholly unrevealed in the Old Testament. God’s prophetic plan was known. But God’s plan of the creation of the Church was not. It was never known that God would create a program in which Jew and Gentile would be equal in Christ.


Paul taught sign gifts would cease when the “perfect” came. The “perfect” came with Paul’s completion of the Word of God. Sign gifts were helpful and valid during the early days of the church to provide guidance as to God’s will, to authenticate the message and ministry of God’s servants, and as a sign to the Jewish people.

God still heals but not with healers. The gift of healing has ceased. God now communicates through the completed Word of God, not through the sign gifts of prophecy, tongues, or knowledge. Sign gifts disappeared between about 60-68 A.D. When these “gifts” appear today they are the result of fakery, emotionalism, or demonic activity. Christians involved in churches that practice these activities are outside of the will of God and reveal ignorance, immaturity, and carnality. The other miraculous gifts and powers noted above that Paul and the Twelve performed (exorcism of demons, immunity from poison, raising the dead, etc.) also ceased with the completed Word of God.

God has given the Church, the Body of Christ, the completed Word of God. Our practical, Christian-life challenge is either to become mature by living a life of faith based upon the Word of God or remain immature and unstable, living a life of seeking God’s will through signs and experiences (1 Corinthians 1.22-24).

1 The following two statements are examples of denominations which maintain the importance of speaking in tongues. United Pentecostal Church International “Our Doctrinal Foundation”: “We enter into the New Testament church through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of tongues (See Acts 2:1-4, 36-39; 11:13-17).” The Assemblies of God Statement of Fundamental Truths states: “The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.”
2 Later MSS. contain these verses. Whether they were original or added is debated. This question is largely moot because what is described in these verses occurred according to Luke’s history.
3 See the author’s study, Paul’s “Mystery” for further elucidation on this subject.

©2013 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

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164 Responses to Sign Gifts: Valid Today?

  1. Rob Klein says:

    Don, This is a really good study, but what is missing is that you do not deal with raising the dead, drinking poison, venomous snake bites, or casting out demons. These are additional powers that Jesus granted to the apostles, or protections given to them (Matt. 10; Luke 9, and Paul in Acts 28). So this is a partial treatment of the signs. How about an encore for the rest of the signs? Also, I looked at the assemblies of God doctrinal statement, and there are several significant problems with it. But they still use Scripture they was is “rightly divided” to support some of their denominational rituals. Other rituals they engage in have no precedent is Scripture and can not be supported by the Bible. Thanks for your biblical research and diligence. It is refreshing. Rob Klein

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thanks, Rob for you kind comment. I added a sentence at the end about other miracles but don’t think there’s enough for an encore.

  2. Don Matakis says:

    Hello Don, are the teachings of Jesus on how to pray then not valid for the gentiles? Like Matthew 21:22? And the faith as small as a mustard seed statement? And what of preachers such as Smith Wigglesworth, Reinhard Bonkke, who have documented proven healings, are these God’s response to the prayer of unwaivering faith? I have always believed that the old testament and new, up to acts was for the jews, are any of the promises valid for the gentiles? I am grateful and thankful for the gospel of grace, however if a healing through prayer or instant healing occurred would that not be as valid for the belief of the gentiles today as it was for the unbelieving Jews, so that they could see God as real instead of possibly their own dead religion like Hinduism etc. So in other words does God reward a request through faith in the form of healing for self or others, notwithstanding the elimination of the gifts of the spirit? Thankyou in advance for your response.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      God can do what He wants and nothing is impossible with God. And He is a God of exceptions. Jesus healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter and the centurion’s servant even while ordering His disciples not to go to Gentiles and declaring to the Canaanite woman He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. The Scriptures seem quite clear that the gift of healing has ceased but that does not preclude God’s healing in response to prayer. Paul revealed promises to us, the body of Christ, that believing Israel will not share. Why should we think we have a right to their promises? God is not the author of confusion; our responsibility is to understand our place in God’s plan.

      • Don Matakis says:

        You did say in the article that God still heals today, I think you misunderstood what I meant about old testament promises, For example, Exodus 15:26 “I am the God who heals you.” was spoken concerning the Israelites however if Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, in that context could we not speak that in our petition in prayer for a physical healing? And what would be the reason that God would not heal someone? The only two reasons I can think of would be either dual mindedness and or lack of faith such as in Jesus home town, or because it would not fit a sovereign God’s plan for the greater good.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          God Himself doesn’t change but the way He deals with mankind does. We cannot know God’s reasons for not healing. Jesus probably healed tens of thousands of people in His earthly ministry but He didn’t heal all. Some whom He healed exhibited faith while some did not. Did the lame man whom Peter and John healed in Acts 3 have faith? None is recorded. The primary purpose of healing was to authenticate the Messiah had come. Signs were primarily for Israel (1 Corinthians 1.22). Since we have the completed Word of God we have no need for such attestation. The antiChrist will use miracles to authenticate that he is the Messiah when he comes. Jesus warned of this in Matthew 24.

  3. Ron G says:

    I once heard a perspective on the sign gifts that went something like this…
    The sign gifts were evident through Jesus ministry to validate His offer of the Kingdom.
    They continued through Acts while the offer of the Kingdom was again on the table to Israel.
    They ceased when the Kingdom offer was finally withdrawn around 70 AD.
    They are back again now because Israel is back in the land and the last generation is here.
    At the same time, Satan has begun a false sign and wonders movement to confuse, particularly through the latter day rain movement ( which started at about the same time as Israel becoming a nation again) and other kingdom now churches.
    Therefore we must test all these things to ensure they are true and valid by God’s Word.

    The teacher of this theory would agree with your exegesis re the different gospels, rapture, baptism etc but he does see a place for the sign gifts to be operational in the church again at this time just before the end of the times of the Gentiles.
    What are your thoughts on this possibility?
    Thank you again for a great article.
    God Bless
    Ron G

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      No Scriptural basis exists for such a theory. After God removes His body, the Church, the Antichrist and False Prophet will perform miraculous signs to deceive. Jesus warned about these. The Bible does not give support for signs in the Tribulation among believers except the supernatural powers noted in Revelation with the 144,000 and the two witnesses. And these are only among Jews. We have no need for them. God has gone to great lengths to reveal what will take place. The Word of God has been completed.

      • Ron G says:

        Thank you for your response.
        Am I correct in understanding your position on this that you believe that all the “signs and wonders” we supposedly see operating today through heretics like Benny Hinn are not in anyway demonic but just fakes?
        Or do you think that there are some actual satanically inspired lying signs and wonders occurring now. In other words, no actual healing occurs at these shows and there will only be supernatural signs again via Antichrist and False prophet in the tribulation?
        I look forward to your clarification on this point.
        God Bless
        Ron G

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          There are no healers, just heels. Some “miracles” are fakery, some psychological manipulation. Some also may be demonic–I cannot say. God, however, is not in these. God heals today but does not use the “gift of healing.”

          • Ron G says:

            In Galatians 3:5 we read:
            Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by works of the law, or by the bearing of faith?
            What are the miracles referred to here?
            God Bless
            Ron G

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Since the Scripture does not state this I’d rather not speculate. The point is that miracles were being done among the Galatians and this from the power of the Holy Spirit, not from the power of the Mosaic Law.

  4. Ron G says:

    I am still struggling with the section above discussing “when that which is perfect has come” being the complete cannon of scripture.
    In 1 Cor 1 we read:
    I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (I Corinthians 1:4-9 NKJV)

    This seems to be saying that the gifts are there until the revelation of Jesus Christ which I understand to be the second coming.

    Then in 1 Cor 13 it says:
    Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (I Corinthians 13:8-12 NKJV)
    In these versus talking about the vanishing away of the gifts etc, it again seems to link that event to when we will see Him face to face, I.e. at the second coming ( or Rapture).
    From this, can’t it be argued that a better translation for the greek word would have been “complete” and that when the church is complete and when All Israel is saved (complete) and when Jesus is now ruling from David’s throne ( dispensation complete)that the gifts will cease as they won’t be necessary.
    Ron G

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      We KNOW that the gifts disappeared during Paul’s ministry and even before for the Twelve. The word “perfect” is τέλειος which Paul always used in the sense of maturity or come to completion. Paul completed the canon so the gifts had ended by that time.

      • Ron G says:

        You said “we KNOW that the gifts disappeared during Paul’s ministry..”
        I have to disagree.
        We may be able to say that there is certainly less mention of them being used as time goes on through Paul’s ministry, but the scriptures NEVER explicitly say they disappeared.

        There is historical evidence that they did in fact continue after the Apostle Paul.
        In the Pre-Nicean patristic literature the Early Fathers, such as Irenaeus, in the era immediately after the Apostles, strove to defend the “Didache” or true apostolic teaching from the gnostic heresies that threatened to subvert the church.

        They made clear that the miraculous manifestations of the Apostolic church did not cease with the apostles.

        According to Hegesippus, as quoted by Eusebius, Irenaeus was in a line of doctrinal succession from the Apostle John at Ephesus through Irenaeus’ mentor, the martyr Polycarp.

        Likewise both the patriarchs of Arminian Protestantism (not holding to a particularist interpretation of election or unconditional eternal security) such as John Wesley, and Calvinistic/Reformed patriarchs such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield alike testified in writing to Charismatic gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit as not being uncommon in their ministries…End Quote

        How do you explain these historical post Apostolic evidences of the sign gifts in operation, if as you say, they ended with the completed cannon of scripture?
        Ron G

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Paul could heal no one after he reached Rome. He could not heal Epaphroditus, Timothy, Trophimus. James was written in the 40s and told his readers to call the elders, anoint with oil, and pray. The gifts had ceased and have not been seen since. I place little faith in the fathers. Their comments, while interesting from a historical point, are rife with doctrinal error. Stay with the Scriptures.

  5. Ron G says:

    You have left my last reply in moderation.
    Can I ask why?
    I also left a comment in another article that is still in moderation…???
    Another request I have is your source for dating the ALL the epistles.
    I have been studying this site now for some weeks and I have learnt so much.
    It is a wonderful resource and we are all blessed through your efforts.
    As you have probably discerned, one of the few areas I am still struggling with your understanding is the sign gifts. This is why I would like your sources for dating the epistles. A lot of what you argue is dependent on the accuracy of these dates.
    There is so many dates out there, it is very confusing.
    Also, a simple diagram placing the various epistles through Acts and up to 70 AD would be helpful.
    Please understand I am not trying to make more work for you, I am about to have “A Great Hinge” event in my understanding of dispensationalism so I would appreciate all the help I can get.
    Ron G

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      On sign gifts, Paul wrote: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13.13). No two chronologists agree. The best we can do is give approximate dates based on internal evidence in the texts themselves with some help from extra-biblical sources: i.e., death of Agrippa, 44 A.D. One day I will do a study and make a comprehensive chronology but it’s a lot of work. See The Great Commission for a rough chronology of Paul’s writings. We know James was written before 51 A.D. because James could not have written the things he did had he known of Paul’s doctrines. Revelation was written early, not only from its content, but because Laodecia was destroyed in 60 A.D.

      • Ron G says:

        I read the Great Commission and found it very useful.
        Another great article…thanks Don.
        However, I do have a question re your comment above that Revelation was written early…..because Loadecia was destroyed in 60 A.D.
        As Laodecia was immediately rebuilt after this earthquake how can you use this as evidence for an early dating of revelation?
        From the International Bible Dictionary:
        la-od-i-se’-a (Laodikia): A city of Asia Minor situated in the Lycos valley in the province of Phrygia, and the home of one of the Seven Churches of Re (1:11). ……… In the vicinity was the temple of Men Karou and a renowned school of medicine. In the year 60 A.D., the city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake, but so wealthy were its citizens that they rejected the proffered aid of Rome, and quickly rebuilt it at their own expense (compare Revelation 3:17). It was a city of great wealth, with extensive banking operations (compare Revelation 3:18). Little is known of the early history of Christianity there; Timothy, Mark and Epaphras (Colossians 1:7) seem to have been the first to introduce it. However, Laodicea was early the chief bishopric of Phrygia, and about 166 A.D. Sagaris, its bishop, was martyred. In 1071 the city was taken by the Seljuks; in 1119 it was recovered to the Christians by John Comnenus, and in the 13th century it fell finally into the hands of the Turks.
        End Quote
        Surely this allows for a later date for Revelation as the Church in Ladodecia would have been back up and running.
        Ron G

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          The greatest evidence for Revelation being written early is that there is no mention of Jerusalem or the Temple being destroyed. For a Jew, these were everything. Not to mention this was unthinkable.

          • Ron G says:

            Revelation is primarily a description of the events through the 7 year Tribulation, so why is it relevant that the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD are not mentioned?
            Doesn’t the early dating just strengthen the Preterist argument for their interpretation of this book?
            From my research, it is predominantly Preterists who push for the early date. Most futurists date Revelation around 85 to 95 AD.
            Why is this late date a problem for you?
            Ron G

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              While early dating of Revelation is essential for the Preterist view, it is not for the futurist view. The futurist view works fine with an early dating. In Revelation 11.1-2 John was told to measure the Temple. This was the Temple in Jerusalem. If it did not exist, how could John measure it? Not mentioning the Temple is like the dog that did not bark. Read J.A.T. Robinson’s Redating the New Testament. Finally, Paul declared that he completed (πληρόω) the Scriptures (Colossians 1.25).

  6. Ron G says:

    G’Day Don,
    You still have my last reply from a few days ago in moderation.
    If you don’t want me to continue replying on this topic and especially the issues of dating revelation, please just let me know.
    As I have said before, I am not meaning to be argumentive.
    I have down loaded a copy of Bullinger and Robinson’s books but they are very large works and will both take me some time to make way through.
    The book I found from Bullinger is “How To Enjoy The Bible”.
    It is very good.
    I actually had one of his books on my shelf that I had forgotten about….”The Witness of the Stars”. I will read it again at some point.
    Here in Australia Don, I have never come across a fellowship that teaches UltraDispensationalisim.
    I am not even sure if there is any fellowship that does in Australia.
    I am genuinely taken with this interpretation, but I need to dot all the “I” and cross all the “t” if I am going to start teaching this stuff.
    I have been a Christian for 40 years.
    I believed Jesus died and rose again for me when I was 17.
    Started in an Anglican Church.
    Went to a Pentecostal (assembly of God) bible college.
    Finally ended up in a Calvary Chapel…good teaching but many unanswered nagging questions which your site is beginning to help with.
    So please, understand I have a lot of “relearning” to do and that is why I ask the questions that I do.
    Thank you again for all your hard work in putting this site together and being prepared to maintain and answer the blog.
    God Bless
    Ron G

  7. Sue says:

    Thanks Don and Ron for this helpful exchange..

    I too, have been a Christian for many years and am so thankful for these articles.
    Finally, there are some real answers to questions that have been with me for years.

    However, seeing truth with more clarity I have found, is quite a lonely place.
    Not everyone wants the debate!

    Thanks again.

  8. Sue says:


    How does the working out of Peter’s ( and others ) ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’ at Pentecost ( prophesied by Joel) differ from the ‘body’s baptisminto Christ’ in Paul’s ministry? How does each manifest.
    One being for an earthly ministry and the other a heavenly.

    We are so use to being told that signs and wonders are the fruit of being ‘filled with the Spirit’ today (which your article refutes).

    If Peter and others received the Power of the Holy Spirit ‘to be witnesses’ what is the out working for those who are baptised into Christ. Are the manifestations the same?

    Ezekiel 36:27 says ‘ I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My Statues, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances’

    Where does the heavenly body of Christ fit into this. Is it the same baptism? We don’t need to keep ordinances, do we?

    If not how do we differ if signs and wonders aren’t for today.

    It seems that this confusion in today’s church has diminished the real work of the Holy Spirit in each one’s life by many leaders telling folk what they think it is and how the fruit should be manifested ( usually to confirm their ministries).

    I’d be grateful for your input.
    I hope my questions are clear.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      God’s working of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ is not about signs. It is about living a godly, holy life. Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ upon believing the gospel. That puts us into the body. After that, it is a matter of the filling of the Holy Spirit. To be filled is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit which lets the new nature dominate (Ephesians 5.18). The Corinthian church had many signs but were the most immature and carnal of Paul’s congregations (1 Corinthians 3.1). My experience with those who emphasize signs is that they are like the Corinthians. There is a lot of emotion, a lot of sincerity, but a consistent Christian life is lacking. The problem for us is that as long as we have the Adamic nature, we cannot not sin. Paul expressed this frustration in Romans 7. When we receive new bodies, i.e., at the Rapture, the old nature (flesh) will be gone and we will no longer be capable of sin. Apparently, the Jews in Jerusalem did for a short time experience the control of the Holy Spirit Ezekiel talked about. It seems from what Ezekiel wrote that this manifestation is future for the Jews during the kingdom. Yet we also know that after 1000 years Satan will be released and foment a rebellion. Frankly, this is hard to understand and I have no answer for it.

      • Yakov says:

        I have a historicist view of prophecy, and Ive come to the conclusion that when the Lord returns, the righteous reign in heaven and satan is bound on his own on earth for a 1000 years. At the end of the 1000 years, the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven, with the righteous inside the city, and then as it comes down from heaven t earth, the devil is released from his prison, the wicked dead are raised to life, and they together, come to try and take the city for themselves, to possess it, but instead, fire comes down from heaven and the wicked are detroyed, along with satan, and then a new earth is created.

  9. Theresa says:

    Are you saying anyone who speaks in tongues today is faking or does so by demonic power?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      I think the Scriptures are clear that this is a gift that has ceased. Whatever is being done as “speaking in tongues” is not from God the Holy Spirit.

    • Lily says:

      The Bible teaches us not to put our trust in NO man. Search the scriptures and let the Spirit of God teach you. If you know that God has filled you with His promised Holy Ghost as in John 14:26. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost WILL teach you ALL THINGS, and shall bring ALL things to your remembrance, whatsoever JESUS has said to us all. Listening to man, will cause us to be led away from the TRUTH, which is only In Christ Jesus. The bible says, to let every man be a liar, but let God Be TRUTH. Paul’s teachings are good, but is not to be taken above the words of Jesus, and taken out of context and twisted to make anyone believe a lie and be damned. The gifts has not ceased. Never let anyone make you believe they have. The reason we don’t see it today, is because of unbelief. Just because I don’t see miracles, or signs today as I have in the past, do not mean that God has ceased doing miracles. God has used me, which some say was the devil, to cast out a devil. Is the devil divide against himself. What did they say about Jesus? He has used me in many different ways, and because I was not a member of that “church” I was said to be an incarnated devil. WE have to stand like Paul, “I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” When I read what people write on this enter net, I weigh it against what Jesus taught. Many souls have been SAVED and filled with the Holy Ghost without a word spoken about Paul’s writings. If a person is speaking in tongues of themselves, and had practiced speaking in another language, that IS NOT the Holy Ghost speaking through them. When we speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives us utterance, then that is the gift of the Holy Ghost as was given on the day of pentecost. The gospel of John use to be given out as a gospel tract, and many souls were SAVED and received the COMFORTER as Jesus promised. Stay with Jesus!

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Your comment indicates you do not believe the Scriptures are God-breathed. The reason we do not see miracles is NOT because of unbelief but because they have ceased. Countless godly Christians have been full of faith and not experienced miracles. The risen Christ revealed to Paul the gospel of grace and no one is saved apart from it. Paul declared God will judge men by Jesus Christ according to “my gospel” (Romans 2.16). Today, to reject Paul is to reject Christ, just as if a Jew rejected Moses, he rejected God. To “stay with Jesus” you must stay with Paul.

        • Lily says:

          Hi Doc
          2 Peter 1:20,21 “Know this FIRST, that no prophesy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophesy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. I believe 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
          I am sorry for any christian who has never experienced a miracle in their life. That means they are not a christian, for the GREATEST miracle ever happened, is when a person repents and KNOW they have been SAVED FROM THEIR SINS. Are is that counted with you as a miracle?
          “The law was given by Moses, BUT GRACE & TRUTH came by Jesus Christ (Paul?).” John 1:17
          Jesus said in John 12:48 “He that REJECTETH ME, and MY WORDS hath one that Judgeth him: the WORD that I HAVE SPOKEN, the SAME SHALL JUDGE him in the last day.” (as Paul declares Jesus’ gospel, not his own gospel).
          Since you take 1 Cor 13:8 to prove that Sign Gifts has ceased: How come KNOWLEDGE has so INCREASED?
          Where in the scriptures does it prophesy of the coming of Paul, that if we reject his teachings, we would be rejecting Jesus Christ?

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Read Acts 9. I don’t think you understand that to reject Paul is the same as rejecting Christ. The risen Lord communicated directly with Paul. Paul declared his gospel came directly from Christ (Galatians 1.11-12). Paul went to Jerusalem to meet with the leaders there by revelation, i.e., the risen Lord told him to go (Galatians 2.1-2). Please tell me, what is your understanding of how one becomes a Christian? It would be helpful also if you would answer the questions I asked. Regarding 1 Corinthians 13.8, Paul is not speaking of prophecy, tongues, or knowledge themselves but the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge.

  10. linda c says:

    Hi Don,
    Can you please explain the meaning of Matthew 7:21-23 and what it means when people are saying that they cast out demons and did many wonderful things in His name. I still have yet to understand who is being talked about in these verses that God doesn’t know. Thanks.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The overall sense is that all is not as it appears to be. In context, Jesus was speaking of Jewish exorcists and others who did amazing things but did not know Him. See Acts 19.11-16.

  11. Ron G says:

    G’Day Don,

    I have a question regarding the following statement you made in this article.
    “Paul instructed them that love reigned supreme over the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge (verse 8). The sign gifts were “partial,” i.e., temporary.”

    I looked up the Greek word used for in “part” and this is what I found.
    #3313 μέρος meros {mer’-os}
    From an obsolete but more primary form of μείρομαι [[meiromai]] (to get as a section or allotment); a division or share (literally or figuratively, in a wide application):—behalf, coast, course, craft, particular (+ -ly), part (+ -ly), piece, portion, respect, side, some sort (-what).

    However, the only place I could find the use of the word “temporary” was in 2 Cor 4:18
    #4340 πρόσκαιρος proskairos {pros’-kahee-ros}
    From G4314 and G2540; for the occasion only, that is, temporary:—dur- [eth] for awhile, endure for a time, for a season, temporal.

    From what you said, you are making the case that the gifts passed away and that they were only “temporary” claiming that that us in fact what “in part” means.
    However, this is not what this passage says. It says that the gifts were only a portion (part) of what was yet to come….(the perfect).

    Could you please clarify this.
    Ron G

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Consider Paul’s whole argument. The Corinthians exercised the sign gifts of tongues, prophecy, knowledge, yet were immature and carnal. To bring them to maturity, Paul used illustrations. His main point was that love was superior to all the sign gifts along with faith and hope. God had provided communication sign gifts (prophecy, knowledge, tongues) to strengthen and encourage the Church until the word of God was completed. When the canon was complete, they ceased (Colossians 1.25 cf. 1 Corinthians 13.10). The sign gifts were “part” and by extension, temporary, in the same sense that when one reaches maturity he no long plays with toys as when a child. The sign gifts of tongues, prophecy, and knowledge were the “child” phase. They were “part” as opposed to “full” or “complete.” When the Word was completed (reached maturity) these communication gifts were no longer needed and ceased.

  12. james says:

    Hello Don,

    About the Canon that you talk about. Do you believe that Paul knew that his letters would become part of what we call the Bible today. Absolutely no.

    Jesus said when the comforter comes he will be with us forever, so the Holy spirit is still with us the believers. what He did 2000 years ago, He is still doing.

    None of the writers of the new testament knew they were composing the bible.

  13. Daniel Telange. says:

    Sir thank for this scriptuer base artical. It is really good to understand. Those who walk and teach the word of God thier life is challenging. i am Baptist. I do believe that those five(TONGUE. PROPHECIY,APOSTLESHIP,HEALING MIRACLE gifts were temprery.

  14. Hondo says:

    I appreciate much of your work, and continue through many great articles posted here. I must fully disagree here as to ceasing of miracles and gifts. Your only basis is 1cor13:10 (along with chronology I suppose) of which your interpretation is flawed. The bible, although certainly perfect/complete, is not that perfection or completion which is referred to in v10. If prophecy and tonges are gone, then knowledge must be gone, you must see face to face, and know even as you are known. You can’t possibly state tongues and prophesy have ended while claiming knowledge (in part) exists. If your interpretation is valid, then you have seen face to face (perfectly and clearly)? and you know even as you are known (know everything)? I’ve heard your points before, although not in nearly as much detail, and have sincerely searched the truth for myself, of which I am convinced for now. If flawed, hopefully you can bring help straighten it out.

    No disrespect, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate your articles.

    Good day!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Paul was writing about gifts. Thus when he wrote of knowledge, prophecy, etc. he was not writing of knowledge or prophecy per se but of the gift of knowledge or prophecy. These were all communication gifts. When Paul used the word τέλειος he always used it in the sense of maturity or completion. The communication gifts of tongues, knowledge, prophecy were necessary for the early church until the canon was complete. Healing was also a sign gift for it authenticated the messenger. It was no longer needed once his authority and validity was established. Paul and the Twelve all lost the ability to heal. We find no healing after Acts 28. Furthermore, signs were for the Jews, not Gentiles. Paul completed the canon and no need remained for the communication gifts. God has removed them and anyone who claims to speak in tongues, heal, etc. is at best misguided and at worst, a deceiver.

      • Hondo says:

        Thank you for the reply. 1 Cor 12 thru 14 deal with gifts of the Holy Spirit in great detail. Key verses I’d like to point out:

        1Cor12:1 Paul wills we not be ignorant concerning gifts of the Spirit

        1Cor12:7- Manifestation (signs, sign of the gifts operating) is given to EVERY man to profit withal.
        1Cor14:32 says the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. So even though you ARE given a gift, you are not forced to manifest such in faith, even as we are given forgiveness, but forced to accept such by faith.

        1Cor14:5- Paul wishes we ALL spoke with tongues (sign gift)


        1Cor14:38- If a man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. For precisely this reason, I will not debate theology or doctrine concerning these truths. I will remain as I am, and you are free to remain as you are.

        I pray each of us will study 1Cor12 thru 14, and not tear out three chapters because a few verses are interpreted by some to be a negation of the remainder.

        Good day,

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Thank you. We must understand not only what was written but WHEN it was written and for what PURPOSE. When Paul wrote the Corinthians, sign gifts were in operation–tongues, healing, word of knowledge, etc. Water baptism was still being performed. 1 Corinthians is the only book to mention tongues. Paul mentioned to it elsewhere and this gift was recognized as the least of gifts. We know the gift of healing disappeared because the Scriptures clearly indicate this. Water baptism also ended and today we have ONE baptism. The purpose and need for sign gifts ended after the Word was complete. Lastly, Paul wrote that signs were for Jews (1 Corinthians 1.22) and tongues in particular was a sign for unbelievers, not believers (1 Corinthians 14.22). Therefore, let us be mature in our thinking about the Word of God (1 Corinthians 14.20).

      • Yakov says:

        I wholeheartedly agree! Its superb to see a quality website teaching clear, robust, biblical truths.

  15. Theresa says:

    My mother was healed of epilepsy in 1973 . She had violent seizures and took daily medication. She is now 76 and in great health serving God.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      I’m glad your mother was healed and serves God. God continues to heal but has removed the gift of healing from men. Paul gave restrictions for tongues in 1 Corinthians 14. This is a matter of faith and obedience.

  16. Sue says:

    Hi Don,

    I had no idea that ‘ultra ( hyper) – dispensationalism’ was a ‘view’ or that a label had been given to rightly dividing the scriptures.

    I just recognised by reading your articles and some study of my own, how much sense they all made. As you say the jigsaw fits together when you have all the pieces. What a joy it has been to understand the whole council of God. It makes perfect sense that God distinguishes between his plan for Israel and that of the church.

    I didn’t realise that this will be the label given by those who don’t agree. Some already ‘add’ to scripture by what they think the Holy Spirit will do in this generation without scripture support.

    Thank you for your thorough studying of the scriptures.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Yes. Labels such as “ultra-dispensationalism” are unfortunate and uninformative. They are often employed to prejudice readers (a kind of name-calling) by those unable to support their own view by Scripture or demonstrate your view false by Scripture.

  17. One of your readers made a comment about Mark 16:15-18 (And these signs will follow those who believe..). You have to read the whole entire passage in context. Jesus was addressing the 11 apostles, not all Christians everywhere throughout all ages. In verse 17 Jesus says “those who believe,” referring to some of the apostles who did NOT believe that He had risen from the dead (verse 11 & 13). So… those who believe He had risen from the dead ( the apostles) WOULD do the miracles!
    (sign gifts)

  18. Randall says:

    Just wanted to mention that although I 100% agree with the above article. Something I feel should be addressed is how many Christians are led astray by teachings such as speaking in tongues. Most churches that practice this start by repeating the same thing over and over again. If you look at eastern religions you see the same thing. Focusing on breathing or empting of ones mind. You see when you open your spirit up to demonic infuence something truly happens. So if someone is from a congregation that practices this type of worship they honestly feel they have had a Spirit led expirience. Its hard to convince them otherwise because well they had the “expirience”. This is why as Christians we should belong to God fearing churchs that focus on teaching what the word of God truly says. Thank you doctrine I truly hope those who are earnestly seeking truth are led to your article.

    Your Brother in Christ.

  19. Frank Clements says:

    Thank you again for a great article. I think I’m the only dispensationalist in my church and probably in my county. It is very difficult to discuss any biblical issue with any of them because everything is saturated with usual confused understanding of the bible. Even when I make copies of articles and give them to members of my church they just can not or will not accept the truth that is in them. Attending my church is almost like attending church in a foreign country. I see hardly any evidence that any church preaches dispensationalism. What are your thoughts on this?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      It’s a battle. My fight is with almost 2,000 years of bad theology. My only encouragement is the words Paul wrote to Timothy shortly before he was executed: 2 Timothy 1.13-15. The Lord knows who are His and God will bring all who want the truth to Himself.

  20. Marilyn Swan says:

    Looking in the concordance under “miracle” I note that there are 2 Greek words: dunamis, meaning an act of power and semeion, meaning a sign.
    “Miracles” as used in I Cor.12 is from the Greek “dunamis” meaning power, NOT from the Greek “semeion” meaning a sign.
    “Miracles” as used in Luke, John, Acts (& Revelation) is from Greek “semeion meaning signs, & they were signs to the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
    “Gifts” as used in I Cor.12 is from Greek “charisma” meaning grace, favor, kindness.

    I don’t think it is scriptural to call the Gifts of the Spirit “sign” gifts when the Bible calls them “charisma” gifts. Signs were for the Jews and unbelievers. The gifts were given to the CHURCH & the manifestation of the SPIRIT is given to every man to profit. Believers are exhorted to be enriched by him in everything, in all utterance, and in all knowledge…so that ye come behind in no (charisma) gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor.1:5-7) I notice that it is not waiting for the canon of the Scriptures to be completed, but until Christ returns (the Church age). We are also exhorted to desire and covet earnestly the best (charisma) gifts. (I Cor.12:3; 14:1)
    According to I Cor.14 if I speak in a tongue, I speak unto God v.2, I speak mysteries v.2, I edify myself v.4, I bless with the spirit & others can’t understand v.16, if I pray in a tongue I pray with the spirit & not with the understanding (I can pray also with my understanding)v.14, if I sing in a tongue, I sing with the spirit & not with my understanding v.15, and I truly give thanks well. In Chapter 14 Paul is teaching about the use of spiritual gifts in the church assembly and the theme is edification & profit of the saints, which is mentioned at least 8 times in 40 verses.
    Any thoughts on my thoughts would be appreciated :)
    p.s. I know there is a lot of far-out stuff out there that is ridiculous, but I have experienced real authentic gifts of the Spirit in the little assembly where I was raised and during my teen years that reality, along with solid teaching, is what kept me from straying.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The word χάρισμα “charisma” is most often translated “gift.” I included them as “sign” for they encompassed visible supernatural manifestations of divine power or ability. As for tongues, only one book in the NT mentions them: 1 Corinthians. None of the “sign gifts” appear in any books written after Acts 28. This in itself would indicate they had ceased. Paul clearly thought when he wrote the Corinthians that the Lord would return in his lifetime and that is why he wrote what he did. But he anticipated these gifts would cease–and lived to see this as he himself lost the power to heal. The “power” of God today is His word (Romans 1.16-17; Hebrews 4.12) not supernatural manifestations. God has demonstrated and revealed all we need to live godly lives and we are to live by faith not by demonstrations of tongues, healing, etc. The gifts were of God and served a purpose but have been replaced by the Scriptures. Grace and peace.

    • Tanya says:


      I completely agree with you. We have the dynamic ability to cause change. I have seen people with the gift of healing, the gift of healing has always been God’s power working through someone toheal. I have seen the gift of miracles, , people standing up from wheelchairs. I have my tongues and it doesn’t just sound like me repeating a couple of phrases, its a full language. I didn’t get it from someone, God gave it to me.ihave seen demons being castout of people. I am a woman and I can speak in tongues. The gift of prophecy still exists in the church today, a d so does wisdom and knowledge. From what I have seen and experienced, the gifts are whether they stopped until close to the end or whether it never stopped at all I cannot say. All I know is people have the gifts today.

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Sign gifts have ceased. There have been studies of tongues and no one has been able to discover a grammar, syntax, structure, etc. in them that characterizes all languages. Paul gave specific regulations on speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14). I know no church that follows them. This tells one that whatever goes as tongue speaking is done in disobedience. Paul wrote tongues were not for believers but for unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14.22). Paul only wrote about tongues to one congregation: the Corinthians. They were the most carnal and immature of all the believers. God continues to heal and perform miracles but the gift of healing given to men has ceased. Such demonstrations are emotional, psychological, or demonic powers. The power of God is the word of God, Christ’s work on the cross, His resurrection (Romans 1.4, 16-17). That should be our focus. The other things are vanity.

        • Tanya says:

          Please example to me how I could get the tongues through disobedience? I cannot force God to give me the tongues… if He didn’t want me to haveIit then He would not have given it to me?…. how can I get agift from Godddisobediently. That does not make sense. And it doesn’t matter if they have done a study, I have a language. I dont know what they based their study on. All I can tell you is that mune is a language. Now unless you believe that I am filled with a demon, then o guess that is just your understanding of it and that is ok. Christians dont all need to pray in tongues so you and I are both saved regardless… and demons casting out and healing, Jesus Himself said that that is a counter work on the devils past. So don’t really see how that is demonic. …

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Can you provide examples where tongues are practiced according to Paul’s regulations? Can you provide an example of tongues being used as a sign for unbelievers? Can you give a case of interpretation of the tongues? These are Paul’s regulations. If these are not being followed then believers are in disobedience. Paul wrote the Corinthians that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13) and it has. We have the completed Word of God and a need no longer exists for speaking gifts. The real issue is which is trustworthy and which is to obeyed–the Scriptures or experience. Why would anyone wish to involve oneself in something as weak and beggarly as tongues when God has given us the completed Word of God?–which the Corinthians did not have.

          • Lily says:

            Stay with the words of Jesus! The gifts of the Holy Ghost has not ended! Stand on Jude 3:20! Those who have never had the TRUE HOLY GHOST will pull you down. God does work signs and wonders for those who will BELIEVE. Jesus could not do many miracles in one place because of the peoples unbelief! When there is no Faith, then there is no Sign Gifts. I have had too many miracles in my life to believe that signs & wonders are a thing of the past. If I am going to believe IN Jesus for my salvation, I will believe Him for everything He has said to Me, and the whole wide world if we walk upright before Him. I am a miracle setting here many times over. Being in a car at two different times, and only God was the one who allowed the car I was in both times to go through the other. I could tell many others but, NO, I will not believe that speaking in tongues, signs and gifts of the Spirit are a thing of the past. Jesus is the same yesterday, and today & FOREVER! May God bless all unbelievers, as well as the believers. Thank you, Don for allowing me to say I enjoy a lot of your writings, but there are somethings like on this subject, I have to disagree with you and all who stand behind you in saying it is all pasted.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Jesus is the same but not His programs. Do you do any work on Saturday? If you believe in the Mosaic Law, under which Jesus operated, that is forbidden. We have to be faithful to what the Lord has revealed to us. Jesus ministered to Jews. He had no ministry to Gentiles. He began a new program, the Church, with Paul. Jesus revealed to Paul the truths for the Church. Stay with Paul and you will obey Christ. God still performs signs and miracles but there is no longer the sign gifts and no longer healers.

              • Lily says:

                Dear doc,
                I don’t separate the work of Christ in programs. No, I do not believe we are to keep one “.” of the Mosaic law. Only Jesus’ words above, even Apostle Paul’s, as much as I Love his writings. As 2 Peter 3:16 tells us that Paul’s writings to some, are hard to understand, and some take Paul’s writings to their own destruction. I do believe that God does give people the gift of healing. But there are ministers today that has caused, and is causing more to miss heaven, by doing what the Bible says that men/ women will do in the last days. That is “DECEIVING, and BEING DECEIVED” they are the “BLIND, LEADING the BLIND” While they are making souls twofold more the child of hell, than themselves. Paul did not die for me nor the world. John 3:16 – 21 Jesus was speaking of You & me, and ALL Gentiles in WHOSOEVER, was He? or was He not? my brother. WE, all Gentiles were included into what I guess you mean, By a NEW PROGRAM. The words of Jesus in John 20:29 includes all Gentiles, also. I just started reading your work. It is very good in it’s own rights. But, I’m sorry I can not agree with some things. I don’t mean to be rude. I’ve been through a lot in my life time, and hate to know anyone is being misled. Hope to see you again. God bless you & yours!

                • doctrine doctrine says:

                  2 Peter 3.16 says that Paul’s writings are Scripture. They are God-breathed just as much as Isaiah, Jeremiah, of Christ’s. Jesus said His words were Spirit, that is, God-breathed (John 6.63). The gospels concern Israel, not the Church. Jesus and the 12 had no ministry to Gentiles. Read Romans 15.8. The story of the gospels is that the King is present and the kingdom of God could come on earth. The gospel by which one is saved is that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. That was not revealed in the gospels. Peter did not preach it at Pentecost. He knew nothing of this truth. This was a truth God revealed to Paul. So the Church, the gospel that one could be saved by believing in Christ’s death and resurrection was NEW. No one knew this before Paul. Unless one can understand this, everything is confused. For example, John 14.14 reads,
                  “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Do you believe this is written to you? Has everything you have ever asked in Jesus’ name happened? If not, why not?

                  • Lily says:

                    Dear doc, I don’t see how you are refusing to see that John 3:16-21 is Jesus is teaching that by believing in Him and in His words people are SAVED! When we pray and get not answer, The bible say we have to pray and ask according to His will. “If it be Thy will Oh Lord?” According to that statement, not getting an answer is not the will of God to give us what we ask.
                    To take Romans 15:8 out of context and apply it only to the Jews, then then all of what Paul preached to us Gentiles is all HOGWASH! I would not have any salvation through Paul’s preaching. All Gentiles still has no hope and without God in the world. But thanks be to God the Bible tells us to rightly DIVIDE the word of TRUTH, and that I don’t see much in your writing where Paul is concerned.

                    • doctrine doctrine says:

                      I’m afraid you are not reading the Scriptures carefully. What did “believing in Him” mean in the context of Jesus’ earthly ministry? Read John 14.14 again. It says, “if you ask anything in My name I will do it.” Again, I ask, does this verse apply to you? Who are the “fathers” in Romans 15.8? Jews or Gentiles? Let me ask you, how is one saved today? What did Peter believe for salvation? How was he saved? Does believing what Peter believed save a person today. If you respond, please support your answer with Scripture.

      • Vanessa says:

        Hi Tanya, I have no doubt that you think you speak in tongues and yes maybe you think its a language. I would like to share my story with you as I care for each person who is in error. I and my husband (ex pentecostal pastor) use to do all the things you mention. Tongues, healing, prophecy till we found the truth. We both came to the knowledge of the truth on the same day which is in itself is a miracle. When we found out that we had been lied to by the church we were so angry. Whats more we were so angry with ourselves for never checking out what the word really said. We had to unlearn all the error and so began our new walk with the Lord. Oh the tears I cried when I had discovered how so wrong we had been. We were ashamed. Now as we look back we are so very very grateful to God for ALL what he has done for us no matter what our circumstances are. But most of all we are grateful for our salvation. Our faith in Christ is locked in and we now are a new creation and we see it in our walk. The freedom of the word we now have is so liberating. We dont need to try and be Christians. I pray that God will show you the light of his word but I also know that not many will come to this understanding as their pride gets in the way. Perhaps if you come to the Lord with meekness and a heart willing to give over to him all what you think you know and start afresh he will begin to show you his glorious riches of his word. The word is very simple once your eyes of your understanding have been opened up. Might I suggest you go and listen to a man called Les Feldick. We have shared the Gospel with many of our Charasamtic friends (all have left us) but only one saw the light of what we were sharing but before he did he phoned us and said we deserve to be burnt at the stake for what we now believe and preach. He took us on but many months later our phone rang and it was the same man telling us how wrong he had been and how sorry he was for the things he had said. Oh for the Love of the Brethren we welcomed him into our lives. He no longer calls himself a Pentecostal Christian. He is like a sponge hungry for the word . When you understand the dispensation of Grace you will see the errors of the tongue talking Christians. We have a deep sadness and love for them. They will not listen and we believe God will hand them over to this error till finally they will fall part of the apostasty which we are now seeing in the church today. Strobe lights, barking and howling like dogs, reptitive loud music, slaying in the spirit and the ramblings of mad men who talk in tongues. The money marathons and the lies they spew at the pulpits goes unnoticed. Pray for guidance. What changed our path was when we asked God to show us the truth no matter what. When God did show us we knew we had to go to our Charastamic friends and tell them that we had been deceived Christians by speaking in tongues. For my husband who is 65 and an ex pastor it was hardest for him. But in obedience he did it and now wow our time with the Lord is so very different. Dont assume you are right. Check out the word for yourself and study the word daily. I have wrestled time and time again over the word and the anguish has been worth it . Take care and try and have an open mind and heart to the things of the Lord. Think out the box and ask questions when you study. Its really very exciting.

  21. Theresa says:

    1 Corinthians 13:10 says but when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end and they will disappear. ….. As of yet we hv not been made perfect and complete.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      1 Corinthians 13.10 does not say when we have been made perfect. It states that when the “perfect” comes the partial will be done away with. The word “perfect” is τέλειος which Paul used for mature or something that has reached its intended goal. This was the Word of God which Paul completed (Colossians 1.25).

  22. anthony says:

    If God has removed the gifts which brings us closer to Him through grace then we are left with our own natural gifts to use in the church which breeds competition, rivalry and strife. I am sure that is not what God wants.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      God has given us the indwelling Holy Spirit, who produces love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5.22-23). Sign gifts are powerless to give these things.

  23. JP says:

    Loved the study on Pauls mystery. This one here has also been pretty interesting.
    From my background, I was saved at home in my room when I was 16 and reading a new testament. My first church was a full on ‘spirit filled’ assembly of god church, where they spoke in tounges during worship and prayer, and also had times when someone would stand, speak in tounges, and then another would stand up and interpret what was said. Later on I found out the assembly of god church also would teach tounges was something you should pray for and was the evidence of ‘being saved’ or that you were filled with the spirit.
    The problem for me, was I never did speak in tounges. lol. I did pray for it earnestly like they said etc, but it never happened. At one point I felt like I was left out or was I doing something wrong. It was just something I dealt with and went on with and dismissed.
    Later on I got married and my wife spoke in tounges all the time especially during prayer often. It was something I was surrounded by through most my church upbringing and had just gotten used to.
    This all said I actually DO agree with what you say here. But that said I think what people misunderstand is your not saying miracles of god are gone, but just the ‘gift’ of someone being able to consistently repeat it when they want is gone.
    Aka ive been healed by the lord before, and ive seen healing done before, but it was just god choosing to do so, or during prayr, not because someone had the ‘gift’ and was just doing it on his own behalf.
    This said I would like to share something else that had to do with tounges with you, perhaps to give you something to think on as you have done for me. =)
    One time I was in church with my wife. It was during worship.
    Behind us I heard a loud voice of a man *VERY* loudly praising god in all sorts of exaltations. It was so loud that I even glanced at my wife who also was hearing it, and she giggled. After the songs ended, we both turned to see who it was because we had not recognized the voice and wondered who it was. Right behind us was sitting my best friend and his wife. During the pause after the worship I asked them about this. They told us that what they heard was some mans voice very loudly speaking in tounges right in front of *them*, but what we heard was actual words and worship. We all determined their must have been an angel somewhere in between us. It was pretty cool.
    Anyways, just a note of something that I think can happen if the lord deems it to occur, even if its tounges, but this doesn’t make it a ‘man toating’ gift.
    The only other thing I am curious of tho, is sometimes there have been moments where people have during deep prayer have spoken in tounges when alone, and ive heard that said that its a groaning of the spirit, or prayer to god and utterance of something in your spirit but your not able to pray for something but the spirit is speaking it out. While this again may not be a ‘gift’ but something that could occur at times? What are your thoughts on this?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. The Lord can do anything He wants. However, our doctrine comes from Paul. I am convinced sign gifts ended about 60 A.D. Sadly, I see is a church ignorant of Paul’s teachings going from one experience to another. People want to be closer to the Lord but seek it though experiences as opposed to studying His word. Our adversary will do anything to keep us from understanding the word. Paul stated, the “secret of iniquity is already at work” (2 Thessalonians 2.7). Satan has been deceiving the Church for 2,000 years which explains the confusion about prophecy, sign gifts, baptism, the gospel, etc. Jesus warned about signs and said (speaking of a future generation) that they would nearly deceive the elect (Matthew 24.14). Believers mature by focusing upon God’s word and not seeking experiences. The Corinthians probably exercised more spiritual gifts than any of the churches but were the most immature and carnal. To grow in Christ we must stay with Paul. He is the apostle for the Church, the body of Christ.

  24. I must say I disagree strongly. First you use a straw man argument. We who believe in the present ministry of the Spirit do not all say you’re not saved if you don’t speak in tongues. Also, when Peter ministered healing to the lame man in Acts 3 what was his response to the crowd? He declared it was not his power or holiness that brought about this miracle. It was faith in God and faith in the name of Jesus. So Peter didn’t attribute the miracle to his simply being an Apostle. No matter how you string unrelated passages together to try and establish your presupposed stance no Scripture states specifically that the gifts of God have ceased. This is a seminary,long held tradition of men. What has ceased is not the gifts of the Spirit, but faith. Faith in God and faith in His name (Jesus) have waned and weakened because men lean more upon senses and sight rather than the unseen. You can write blogs and articles until Jesus returns and all the while the power of the Spirit of God is visiting the hungry hearts and those who are willing to let God be God In their life.
    Also, don’t assume that those in Charismatic or Pentecostal churches are poor ignorant fools with no real Bible training. I’ve been to Bible college, I’ve studied Hebrew and Greek. I’ve also seen firsthand God work in miraculous ways. One thing I’ve seen time and time again. When the children of the opposers of God’s healing and delivering power for today are diseased or bound by an addiction they throw away this God ceases to heal nonsense and press in and begin to cry out for a miracle.
    With love God is always good.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Now that Word of God is complete, God speaks through it, not signs. Signs were primarily for Jews, not Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1.22) and their purpose was to authenticate the messengers. This has been accomplished. After Paul was imprisoned (about 60 A.D.) they ceased. They had ceased even earlier in the Jerusalem Church for James gave instruction on what to do with the sick. If the gift of healing was still in operation he would have never written this (James 5.14). In our age of grace God heals but it is under His sovereign domain. The gift of healing He gave to men for a brief time has ceased. We have abundant Scriptural evidence of this cessation and no Scriptural evidence for the continuation of miraculous gifts. The practical issue is a choice: is your foundation for truth the Scriptures or experience.

      • You ask me if my foundation is experience or the Word. My answer is this. My foundation is God’s Word. Because God’s Word is the truth, I experience it active in my life. Now I could rightly ask you the same question. Is the Word of God your source of truth or your lack of experience your source? It is obvious that you are a cessationist. I also see how you glossed over the one objection I have to your view. Not one single passage specifically states the ministry of the Spirit and signs following the believer would cease or are not for all. Father God has stated He never changes. When He instituted the Old Covenant with the Law and sacrifices and ceremony He was explicit in detailing all aspects of it. When He established the better Covenant, the New Covenant He went to great lengths to expound the differences of each Covenant. The entire book of Hebrews details a better Covenant. Now if He changed any aspect of His dealings with mankind He has detailed it in Scripture after Scripture. Now tradition ruled men come along and try to speak for God saying He has ceased His ministry of the gifts of the Spirit. Yet, if this is so we so not one passage dedicated to the outlining why and when these gifts would cease. We see that with Old vs new. As for the one passage you may be alluding to in 1 Corinthians 13, I suggest you look again. Paul stated that tongues would cease, prophecy would fail and knowledge would vanish away. Now what prophecy has failed? As for knowledge, what has vanished? In fact Daniel the prophet foretold that knowledge would increase in the last days. Is the Scripture in contradiction? No, absolutely not. If you follow in context Paul stated we shall see Him face to face. What is the perfect to come? Is it the completion of Scripture as you say? I believe by context Paul is referring to the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the perfect one to come. If you look in the New Testament, you see miracles and the power of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians, Hebrews and Thessalonians and James.
        Jesus said these signs will follow those who believe. He didn’t give a timetable. You can abide in a powerless gospel. You may feel content to remain in a place where you are unable to change anything around you. I see a living Jesus who is still much alive and active in the lives of those who follow Him. I have a vital, living relationship with God. My faith is based on the Word. He said He hears and answers my prayers. He said the gifts are available to profit all. I take God at His Word. I don’t look at the Word as just some theology book. It is a living instruction manuel. When I minister I see the power of God flow and He touches hearts, He heals bodies and He reveals truth to people that brings them to a greater place of relationship with Him. My life in Christ is an active, loving relationship based completely on His grace. What a wonderful loving God we serve. He hasn’t changed.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          God has changed how He operates with man many times. Was Abraham saved by believing Christ would die for his sins and rise from the dead? Was Peter? No, Abraham was saved by believing what God told him in Genesis 15. Peter was saved by believing the gospel of the kingdom, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Even in Israel’s history, signs and miracles were not in operation all the time. Many more examples could be cited. We can be assured sign gifts ceased by the fact that Paul could not heal at the end of his ministry. It is also evident that the gift of healing had ceased among believing Jews according to what James wrote. This was several years before Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. Paul completed the canon of Scripture according to Colossians 1.25 and fulfilled what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13. Paul was not writing about prophecy and knowledge. That would be nonsense. He was writing about the gift of prophecy and the gift of knowledge. The context of the passage is gifts. Everything Jesus spoke in His earthly ministry concerned Jews. He did not address Gentiles and the Church, the body of Christ, was not yet in existence. The power of God is the gospel (Romans 1.16-17). It is the power of Christ’s resurrection (Philippians 3.10) that strengthens and changes lives, not signs and wonders.

          • You say Paul could not heal in the last days of his ministry. I am astonished how you were alive then and saw him not ministering healing. Peter was not “saved” by the way. You of all people know this. Peter followed Jesus as He was at the time the Messiah but Peter was not saved because to be saved means to be born again. To be born again means to believe in the death, burial, resurrection of Christ and confess Him as Lord according to Romans 10. Jesus hadn’t died yet.
            Now we are not in disagreement that the gospel and the Word of God changes people. Yet, the Word of God is what promises and reveals His gifts for today. When I’ve prayed for folk to be delivered from say smoking and invoke the mighty name of Jesus and they are completely free from nicotine and never pick up the stuff again what is this? Me making things up? What of the many, many occassions where I’ve laid my hands on the sick and seen them be healed was this some fairy tale game? You say healing has passed away. I guess for you sure. For me, I believe in the finished work. A woman I know (a Bank teller) was diagnosed with cervic cancer. She was told by a doctor that she could never conceive. I asked if I could pray. She readily agreed (this was in public in a bank). I prayed for her. In the name of Jesus by faith I cursed that cancer and commanded healing to come. She later told me the cancer was gone and today she has a healthy boy who was born shortly after. It was not me, or my goodness, or my power. It was God’s goodness and mercy and faith in that goodness and mercy that wrought that wonderful healing.
            However, the Word of God is final authority. You again fail to acknowledge the truth. Not one passage declares thus saith the Lord healing and these signs which I said would follow them that believe are null and void once the New Testament was finished. Why is this?
            cessationists and those who believe in continuity of the gifts of God have been hotly debating this subject for many many years. It is too late for you to convice me that God is no longer merciful and full of compassion. I have experienced many healings in my physical body through prayer. How does an unbelieving doubt filled Christian explain the numerous accounts of miracles and healings that have been medically verified? You can dismiss this as God sovereignty but the key difference is these were the results of believing prayer. What part does faith play in your life? If God ceases to intervene in your life what do you even pray about? I spend my time in worship and fellowship with my Daddy God and also time in faith with supplication to Him because I know how much He loves me and doesn’t want me lacking. You are like the World it seems. If sickness comes you just hope in medicine and have a whatever will be will be mindset?
            What I have read on your site about grace and identification I agree with. What I don’t agree with is that God has changed. Sickness and disease are evil. They are not good and are not from God. God is a good Father. I would never inflict pain or injury or illness on a child of mine. If a man did that even wicked sinful men would put that person in jail for cruelty and abuse. Yet, your doctrines seem to paint a view of God that afflicts His own children.
            My life is rooted and grounded in God’s Word. Acts 10:38 He is good and heals all who are oppressed of the devil. So I believe the Word as it is written. I don’t need a doctrate degree to try and wish that passage away.
            You can argue with philosophy. Paul left the guy sick in a city so that proves he couldn’t heal. Well, first Paul isn’t the healer God is. To say that proves it’s God will to be sick is a silly argument. Im sure Paul left folk in that city that had a gossip problem or some other shortcoming. Does that make it God’s will for those behaviors to continue? You my friend are arguing from a position of silence and creating a idea from that area. It doesn’t record whether or not that man stayed sick. So you conclude that Paul is the healer and Paul couldn’t heal. Jesus is the healer. Perhaps Paul did pray for the man and the man had not yet fully recovered. Why not believe that? Why create a whole doctrine on a scenario that you have very little information about?
            As for your constant use of James 5. James stated now if there be any sick… James used the word “IF”. If is a conditional word. So if sickness and disease are what we are to expect as normal for our life why didn’t James say now for the sick among you…? He was offering the hope of healing not stating that healing is not for us today. If healing wasn’t for us today why even give the Church a formula for praying for healing?
            Your philosophy of cessationism seems to be where your faith stands. You then also use experience to reinforce your belief. Have you ever read the book by Jack Deere?
            You can ignore my post. You may call me a liar. You can even say all the miracles and healings I’ve seen through faith and prayer are fake or the sovereign acts of God. All I can say is He must love me enough to work mightly through my faith and prayers.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              God can heal whomever and however He wishes and He does that today. What has ceased is the gift of healing which was a gift God gave to certain men to heal. Paul exercised this gift on the island of Malta (Acts 28.8-9). Later, he could not do this. As far as James is concerned, no “if” exists in the Greek text. James wrote, “is anyone among you sick?” James called for prayer, not for one with the gift of healing. Even this has passed away. James wrote, “the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick.” We have no such assurances. God may heal, and He may not. Jesus declared, “if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” Is this true today? We are under a different administration. The Church operates under the rules the risen Lord gave to Paul. These rules are different from those Jesus gave in His earthly ministry and different from things that occurred in Acts when the opportunity for Israel to accept her Messiah were still in play. Failure to recognize this leads to frustration and doubt. The definition of “saved” as “born again,” i.e., believing in the death, burial, and resurrection, is without Biblical foundation. Jesus used the language “born again” in His conversation with Nicodemus (John 3.3,7). Jesus did not tell him to believe in His death, burial, and resurrection. That gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) was not revealed until Paul received it from the risen Christ. Paul never used the term “born again” but often used the word “saved.” Finally, many wonderful Christians are ill or have died as result of illness. Is God unmerciful since He does not heal them?

  25. so brother, your prayers are more of crap table gamble or black jack chance? Maybe He will maybe He wont?
    Forget the continuance vs ceasing of argument…for a moment
    what are you saying about salvation? The literal Greek in John 3 was to be born from above. What then is your view of salvation? Were men actually saved in the New Covenant sense in your view when Jesus walked the Earth? Because Peter used similar wording about the New Birth that Paul used.

    as for healing I believe you cessatationists misunderstand the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus Himself couldn’t heal everybody. Why? Because of unbelief. Even you can’t deny that unbelief can effect how you receive from God.
    Now healing is a fact of the cross. Yet some don’t receive. I have an answer for you. We live in a fallen sinful World. Sickness can attack the saints. It is not God’s will or design. It is the World we live in. His healing mercy is always extended and for whatever reason we don’t always know some receive and some dont. Is it because of unbelief? Not in all cases but there are some that it is. Is it because God is punishing people? Of course not
    God is always merciful He never inflicts pain upon His kids. Sometimes His people choose Heaven not Earthly healing. Either way the Children of God never lose. If we receive our healing we rejoice. If the sickness strikes quickly and overtakes the believer and they depart they win because they get to walk in Heaven with Jesus. So the devil loses in all ways.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jesus ministered to Jews. He did not minister to Gentiles. The Church did not exist during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus came to fulfill Israel’s covenants and prophecies (Romans 15.8). He came to present Himself as the Messiah-King to Israel. The primary purpose of His healing was to authenticate His claim of being the Messiah. Sometimes faith was involved in His healing but sometimes it was not. One cannot build a theology of healing on the basis that the reason some are healed and some are not is because of unbelief. We have too many counter-examples. As for salvation, Peter, etc. were saved by believing Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. The gospel of the kingdom focused upon the identity of Christ, not the work of Christ. Men and women are saved today by believing Paul’s gospel of the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Prayer is a request. Sometimes God answers our requests and sometimes He doesn’t. We find something different going on in Jesus’ earthly ministry (cf. Matthew 18.19). Jesus told His disciples that whatever they asked would be done. That does not occur today. We are under a different operating environment. Unless we understand this theological confusion ensues, e.g., thinking the gift of healing is still operational. Apparently, this happened with Dr. Deere. From what I’ve read, he became so confused he could not define the gospel.

  26. You are all over the place…
    If Jesus only healed to demonstrate His Messiahship why does He so often command those whom He heals NOT to tell others about it? You who don’t accept that God is living and active in our lives today never understand why He healed. Over and over it records He healed to demonstrate His love, His mercy and compassion. Is He any less compassionate today?
    As for the followers of Jesus, they were not “saved” according to New covenant standards. They did not possess the Holy Spirit. They only were “saved” when Jesus arose and it records in the latter portion of John that He appeared to them, breathed upon them and said receive the Spirit. This was when they were born again. They received the fullness of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
    As for prayers, you may be consigned to a life of never assured God will answer your prayers and you are subject to whatever life throws your way and you just have to put up with anything the devil brings your way. You may be content with a powerless Christianity. I for one am not. I pray and God answers my prayers. Why? Because He loves me. I am loved by my Father and He takes joy and pleasure in me.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The central problem of your view is that it does not differentiate between Jesus’ earthly ministry to Israel under the Law and the operation of the Church, the body of Christ, which the ascended Lord revealed to Paul. Jesus certainly healed out of compassion but His primary purpose was to authenticate Himself to the nation of Israel. If Jesus healed only out of compassion, it leads to questions such as why did He not heal everyone? Why does He not heal everyone today? Why does He allow suffering at all? In other words, this is the problem of evil: how can a loving God allow suffering? The followers of Jesus were saved by believing the gospel of the kingdom. We are saved by believing Paul’s gospel. The view that the Twelve and all who believed Jesus was the Messiah during His earthly ministry were not saved until after Pentecost is without Scriptural support and is at odds with the words of the Lord (e.g., Luke 7.50, 18.42). Your view means no one–Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, etc. was saved until Pentecost. I have confidence God will answer my prayers according to His desires for my good. He knows this better than I. Your assertion that Christianity is powerless without miracles is unbiblical. The power of God for the Church is the gospel (Romans 1.16-17) and Christ’s resurrection (Romans 1.4; Philippians 3.10). Learn Paul and focus on his doctrines and theological confusion and error will disappear. You will not be disappointed.

      • Brother I am a student of God’s grace. I understand the Pauline revelations. However, to say that no one was saved until Paul preached is absurd.
        I’ve looked at your articles and some are good and others are downright strange. I have studied extensively what Calvin taught, what Armenius taught. How the different denominations believe the Word. Reformed theology, free grace theology, and others. I find I must conclude I have never once heard of any denomination make the claims you assert about salvation. That on the day of Pentecost until Paul came the Church is not really the Church.

        As for powerless Christianity, yes if we are not a Church with miracles, with power over sickness and demonic entities then what are we? What is the difference between the Church and the World?

        God IS still compassionate today as He was when He walked the Sandy shores of Galilee. He did heal all who came to Him. That is recorded in the gospels. The only occassion you cite is in John with the lame at the pool. He healed the one and left the others. Well, if they would have asked He would have healed them. There is not one place in Scripture where Jesus turned down anyone who came to Him seeking healing. There is no one who was told by Christ that their sickness was a loving blessing of God. That their crippling disease was Father’s will for them to help them learn humility. There is no one who came to Jesus who asked for healing and He said it is not my will. IF sickness and disease are so wonderful and God’s will for His saints then please, pray hard that all your family will receive much sickness so they can please God…

        • doctrine doctrine says:


          Never have I written that no one was saved until Paul. You wrote that Jesus followers were not saved until Pentecost. I wrote in opposition to this: God has saved people from Adam onwards. Peter was saved long before Pentecost! As for the Church, no evidence exists that the Church came into being on Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish feast. Jesus told His apostles to remain in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. The Church is that organism in which Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ. Peter addressed Jews only in his sermon on Pentecost and did not teach Jews and Gentiles were equal in Christ. Such an idea was unthinkable to him–even years later. God did not reveal this teaching until He revealed it to Paul. You seem to dismiss the power of the gospel and Christ’s resurrection in lieu of signs and miracles. The gospel and Christ’s resurrection are the essence of Christianity–and its power–not signs and miracles. Not one Scripture supports the teaching that miracles continued after the end of Acts 28.

  27. Sue says:


    Then, is it fair to ask, what form does this power take in the individual’s life, that comes from the Gospel and Christ’s resurrection?

    I agree we are under a different dispensation.

    However, are we now looking at the New Creation and it benefits? Does this include healing? Is our position different now we’re ‘in Christ’. Is it through prayer that this Power that Paul was not ashamed of, manifests?
    ‘ be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God’ Philippians 4:6

    Or are we to be ‘ content with what ever circumstance ‘ we find ourselves.

    Another study perhaps.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The Jews were the writers and custodians of the Scriptures. We have the benefit of having them complete. Paul wrote that we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5.7). We have the indwelling Holy Spirit and we are to let Him control us. The power of the Holy Spirit is experienced in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-26). Paul learned contentment in all his circumstances and wrote about this in Philippians 4.6-13). Also read 2 Corinthians 12.7-10. This is a passage that those who maintain that God’s power is healing seemingly cannot comprehend.

  28. Gary Ruehling says:

    Do not be caught up into the deceivers lies. Healing was provided when you were sealed with the Holy Spirit. To imply healing has ceased would to imply the Holy Spirit has ceased and lies passive in your born again spirit simply to watch your faith die in vain and watch you die with disease and sickness. The perfect has come and provided all we need in our born again spirit and the access is by faith and rest in the finished work of the cross……….. If we put on Christ Righteousness how can healing cease. AS CHRIST IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD………….IS HE SICK……..GOD BLESS. I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE. Oh I have personally laid hands on the brain dead and saw them get out of bed with no neurological deficits. I am a registered nurse by trade and have witnessed the power of God. Oh I am not Pentecostal. The Holy Spirit led me to show the Glory of
    God to demonstrate his love and power. I by faith did what I was told………………..

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      God continues to heal in His own time and manner but the gifts of healing, tongues, knowledge, etc. have ceased according to the testimony of the Scriptures. The power of God today is the gospel (Romans 1.16-17), the cross (1 Corinthians 1.18), and the resurrection (1 Corinthians 6.4).

    • ele says:

      The talks here is about the gift of healing, not the healing of God, which contines if God is willing.unlike during the apostles time of gift.

  29. Ashley says:

    Paul says the gifts will cease when he knows fully and not in partial knowledge. Did Paul live to see the canon completed? Did he expect to? Or is this an inconsistency with your interpretation?

    If God is still ditecting us using the canon of what he has revealed to us, how do you rule out the gifts when scripture also says in the latter days that people will dream dreams and see visions?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Paul saw the canon completed. Paul wrote in Colossians 1.25 that the Lord sent him πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, “to complete the Word of God.” The word πληρόω means to complete. Read carefully Joel 2.28 and Acts 2.17. The prophecy of those who will dream and have visions refers to Jews.

      • Ashley says:

        So Paul was the last one to contribute to the canon? Or was he saying his writing filled in spots missing from the word of God?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          According to Colossians 1.25 Paul completed the canon. John lived into the 90s but little evidence supports he wrote then. The internal evidence of NT books is that they were written before 70 A.D. Paul was executed in about 67-68 A.D. so this fits. I think John completed all of his letters by 60 A.D. J.A.T. Robinson did a scholarly analysis of the dating issue which continues to stand as sound research.

  30. Ashley says:

    So, you say that Paul wrote the last book of the canon and thus “completed” the revelation in that way. In addition to doing so you off set the importance of the other writers by asserting that their kingdom revelations were no secret. Yet, still today it remains the Holy Spirit that leads us in all truth of the things spiritually discerned… or do you believe that has ceased as well?

    Jesus the prophets and others in the Bible all supported what Paul said in their prior writings. Its as if you imply Paul is some type of messiah and the only one to preach true revelation. Yet he was the one in the beginning admitingly persecuting the Gospel he came to defend – thus it was already revealed through the OT, other Christian churches, the Holy Spirit, and Christ. God did not just reveal the Gospel to Paul alone or how was Paul guilty of persecuting “Christians”? Jesus preached the Gospel to the gentile way before Paul.

    This was evident in the Gospels.

    Paul was a tool God used to spread the Gospel he was not the one that discovered it nor the first or last to preach it. Yes, he revealed the Word of God as teachers do today. He completed the will of God by doing so.

    Are you saying no one knew the Gospel or had full revelation of it before Paul came along? Because the OT leads directly to his revelations… some how someway Christians exsisted before Paul.

    If they already knew it than it seems more revelant to conclude Paul was “fulfilling” the will of God.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The kingdom had been revealed throughout the prophets. It was the great theme of the OT. The OT has hundreds of passages about it. The message of John the Baptist and Jesus was “repent, the kingdom of God is near.” The Church, however, was a secret. Not a word of it was revealed in the OT or in the Gospels. The things Paul wrote about were unknown to the prophets. Jesus revealed nothing in His earthly ministry of what Paul wrote. The Twelve knew nothing of Paul’s doctrines either. Paul’s gospel was different from the gospel Peter knew. This is clear from reading Acts 15. Peter preached the gospel of the kingdom to Jews under the Mosaic Law. Paul preached the gospel of the grace of God to Gentiles apart from the Law. See my article, Paul’s “Mystery” and other articles to understand this better. The Scriptures reveal Jesus gave Paul revelations, i.e., “secrets” that began an entirely new program–the Church, the body of Christ–what we call Christianity. None of this was known before Paul. Jesus ministered to Jews alone (Romans 15.8) as did the Twelve. Peter and James wrote to Jews (James 1.1; 1 Peter 1.1), not Christians. Church doctrine, in which Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ (the body of Christ), comes from Paul alone.

      • Lily says:

        Doc, Where in the OT did any of the prophets talk about the Kingdom of God? I looked on Bible gateway, and it does not mention “the kingdom of God”.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          It was not expressed as “the kingdom of God.” I think it is probably in every prophetic book. See Genesis 12.7, 13.15-17, 15/17-18; Deuteronomy 28.1, 13; Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, 11, Zechariah 14.9. There are literally hundreds of verses that talk about this and the subject is central to all Jewish theology. The Jews knew exactly what John meant when he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near” for they had been taught about it for 2000 years (since Abraham). See my articles, The Kingdom of God and Theology of the Old Testament.

  31. Theresa says:

    Why do pastors quote over and over. By my stripes you are healed?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The question is healed from what? Isaiah meant healed from sin (Isaiah 53.5) as did Peter (1 Peter 2.24), not healed from disease.

      • becky says:

        So in this verse in Psalms, is he talking about the diseases of the soul?
        Psa 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          While the word תַּחֲלֻאִים is used infrequently, it means physical disease. This is what David was declaring. God is the great physician.

  32. Theresa says:

    Thank you for this and ALL that I am learning!!!

  33. Theresa says:

    Are you familiar with the teaching of Joseph Prince?

  34. Nik says:

    Dear Sir,

    I was raised in the church and the bible and have continued therein throughout my life having fellowship with believers of many denominations across many continents, many of whom are of the mind that the “gifts of the Spirit” are still valid today. In all my years I have never witnessed a demonstration of these gifts which is in accord to my reading of scripture. The atmosphere in which these gifts are practiced always seems to be conducive to the opposite of what the bible calls a sound mind; the healings and testimonies thereof are just plain false or of a psychosomatic nature (of the type performed by hypnotists), the prophecies are more often than not vague and when specific turn out to be false, the tongues spoken are devoid of grammar or syntax not to mention interpretation, and more to the point are never performed in the orderly manner prescribed by Paul in the scriptures. Despite much similar evidence many true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ remain convinced of the truth of their experiences involving the gifts of the Spirit.

    The rapidly growing interest and absorption with these practices observable across the globe does not seem to be accompanied by a corresponding growth in maturity as evidenced by a growth in love for and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This fact alone renders this movement suspect in my estimation. Apart from a lack of positive growth, what worries me is that the phenomenology of these practices lends itself to the propagation of various systems of doctrine that seem to accompany them wherever they are practiced. In short, it seems to me that a new world-view is being insinuated into the minds of vulnerable believers worldwide, based not primarily on sound scriptural doctrine, but built instead upon the sands of subjective experiences of a dubious and contra-biblical nature.

    I do not deny subjective experience in the spiritual life. However, whereas it used to be that the believer’s experience entailed taking up his cross, dying to self, looking to Jesus and obediently following Him, today the trend is to see and experience himself as anointed by God’s power and authority from heaven. The difference in attitude is subtle yet fundamental.

    Jesus Christ is what the Father gave to us. Christ is made all things unto us. Christ does not give us strength, He is our strength. He does not give us wisdom, He is our wisdom. He is our healing. His is the Power and the Glory, forever and ever. Amen!

    In contrast to the centrality of Christ, the doctrinal milieu surrounding the spiritual gifts movement suggests the believer into the spotlight. Instead of Jesus Christ being the anointed one (Christ means anointed), we are the anointed; rather than the finished work of Christ upon the cross, we finish the work of Christ upon the earth; whereas we should be decreasing that He may increase, rejoicing in our weakness, we are ecstatically experiencing ourselves handling supposed God given superpowers. It sounds suspiciously to me like a variation on the theme of that old lie, that ye shall be as gods.

    My life has not been devoid of supernatural manifestation. Being medically trained I can not deny that I know of a handful of cases involving seemingly miraculous healings which flummoxed the attending physicians. However, the healing prayer and supplication involved was calm if not tame, and of an almost childish simplicity. There was never the notion amongst those praying that they were wielding any sort of power imparted or ascribed, neither was there any sense of directing or manifesting the will of God, rather, simple prayer requests were sincerely and humbly offered to God by quiet and collected spirits, in trusting obedience to God’s loving will. In addition, I have also been witness to a situation where a brother was lead, by information imparted to him in a dream, to go to a specific location in order to pray for a specific person, that person being a complete stranger to him. He followed this information to the effect that the stranger’s life was dramatically life changed. There are numerous other acts of God and answers to prayer which I could cite.

    As such, despite being greatly troubled by what I consider to be false teaching and experience amongst dear brothers and sisters in Christ, having never manifested or witnessed any such gift myself, and being loathe to grieve either any fellow member of the body of Christ or indeed the Holy Spirit Himself, I have tentatively held to a belief that such things are indeed possible today as at Pentecost.

    Your article has proved most helpful in ironing out some lines of contention in my thinking on the matter.

    Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I am convinced from the Scriptures and my own experience that the miraculous gifts God gave to man to the Twelve and Paul have ceased. God is still the God of the supernatural and miraculous. I am convinced He heals and does other miraculous things today but it not under the agency of men. It comes directly from Himself.

  35. Vanessa says:

    Good Morning From South Africa,

    I was directed to this site by the Holy Spirit. My husband and I have had to unlearn all of mans traditions and have begun reading and studying the word after 30 years of being Children Of God. We were once tongue talking Pentecostals who saw the light and have repented of our false teachings. It all began one night as I said my prayers I ended off by talking in tongues. After finishing my prayers this small voice in me asked me what I just said. I had no idea. Then this small voice said to me say to tell my husband in my mother tongue that I loved him. I obeyed in a whisper in the dark. Again this small voice said and you love your Father In Heaven more than you husband yet you speak to him in a tongue that you dont, understand. Why. I was rivited in my bed as I had no intelligent answer. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I was also confused at this small voice which I had recognised in my spirit. I did not leave it there. Questions began to run through my head. I shared this with my husband who received it in in silence but within weeks the Holy Spirit showed him that tongues was done away with after he went back to study the issue of tongues. My husband use to be a Pastor at the Assemblies Of God but walked out due to church Politics. Recently we discovered that Water Baptisim is not required but the washing of the word was more important. Then we learnt through studying the word that there are 2 Gospels. God is so true and so loving and at no time did we dig in our heels and fight with God. We simply offered ourselves over and said “God here we are teach us your ” TRUTH.” through YOUR Word and not mans words. We are young Christians even though we were saved 30 years ago as we need to learn all over but its so exciting. Knowing the rapture is soon and time is short we are grateful that God has chosen to shown us now. Thank you for this site but we have now learnt to check and recheck what our Brothers and Sisters say and write. Your reply to these many questions have shown how loving you are to your Brothers and Sisters and you have a love for them which is how I judged you. You have fruit and thats so very important. Thank you again and when I see you in heaven I shall give you a Sisters hug. Before I end off we have had to go back to those we knew to tell them that we were mis-lead by tongues but sadly those Christians have hurt us and said we never had Christ in us from the beginning as Tonues is a true reflection of ones spirituality and we have lost all our friends. We fellowship alone BUT we have the Holy Spirit who is our comforter and best friend. Yours In Christ Vernon and Vanessa.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you for your kind words and sharing how God has worked in your life. I am sure it will be a blessing to others. This is the value of the body of Christ. All of us can benefit and be encouraged from learning how the Lord has met our needs and how we can trust Him with our concerns and problems. May God continue to richly bless you and Vernon.

  36. Dk says:

    Don, thank you for the article. I do have a question about your assertion of New Testament chronology. Can you please provide citation that Revelation was written c. 40-50? I realize you rely on a couple of NT verses as evidence, but I would appreciate additional background. Thank you and God bless.

  37. Vanessa says:

    Dear Doctrine,
    An update from when we last chatted. Hubby and I are glued to the word and have begun printing (at a cost) all your articles as well as Les Feldicks. We trust God will provide the finances as we print the articles. Time is so short but we are so hungry and excited for the truth. We have many question which we have noted down and will shortly (hope you wont mind) come back to you with questions. We tried calling Les again from South Africa but he has been under the weather. One question that Vernon has asked to me ask of you. Can a person be saved under the kingdom Gospel, As are most of the Charasmatics and Penetcostals. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. Sorry to read Les is feeling poorly. One can only be saved by Paul’s gospel today (1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Galatians 1.6-9). That issue was settled at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15). The faith part of the gospel of the kingdom was to believe Jesus was the Messiah, the King. The works part was baptism and keeping the Law. Only Paul’s gospel is valid today. See the article, The Great Hinge, for the change. Grace and peace.

  38. Bob Anderson says:

    Hi Don,

    Mark 16 question.

    20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.

    My understanding is that the 11 pretty much stayed in Jerusalem. This verse seems to contradict this. Comments?

    “Inaugural Gifts”: I agree that the gifts stopped early on. Yet, I do receive reports from Africa and Muslim nations that they do occur in infant assemblies and/or individuals, particularly dreams and visions. Muslims are showing up at church doors asking what they are to do now after dreams and/or visions of Jesus.

    I have no way of verifying these, of course, but many of the sources seem credible.



    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The best interpreter of Scripture is the Scripture itself. Compare Mark 16.20 with Luke 9.6. Both use πανταχοῦ. On the gifts: God can do anything He chooses so I cannot discount the possibility of God using extraordinary means to bring men to Christ but I would say in terms of normal operations among believers in churches, sign gifts ceased.

  39. Bruce W says:


    I agree with you wholeheartedly and Nik’s assessment as well. I congratulate you on your humbleness yet firm stand dealing with with certain people who seem to know it all and think because they proclaim it loudly and antagonisticly that it’s true. One thing l know now beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the majority of so-called Christiandom does Not rightly divide the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

    I realized a long time ago that the sign gifts had ceased. I was an infant Christian (or so I thought) in the Assemblies of God when I started to recognize that the so-called tongues had No vowels. I went to the pastor about this and quizzed him. I asked why there was only consonants in the so-called tongues I heard in church, why everyone sounded the same no matter who spoke in tongues, how could a one minute tongue message have a ten minute interpretation and why were all the messages generic. He basically lambasted me and threw me out of his office accusing me of questioning God’s ways which are higher than our ways. I got my answer.

    Now, I will say this regarding healing and miracles. I have seen and been a part of miracles in my life and dramatic ones at that. I’ve prayed for healing for my wife and myself on numerous occasions and God healed us. I’ve prayed in dangerous situations with no way out but by a miracle and outright miracles occured. I’ve called out to God in the name of Jesus Christ and he spared me from horrible situations of my own causing.

    There’s just too many things that have occurred in my life that were nothing short of the miraculous but this much I do know, I do Not have the gift of healing nor do I have the gift of miracles. I cannot just walk up to anyone and heal them. I cannot cause miracles to occur by claiming one to be so. What I do know is Christ’s name is mighty and often when I use it in simple faith, God answers in the affirmative.

  40. Williams says:

    Good day sir pls giv me more light concerning this passage anointing oil and apron not valid today ? With a scriptures

    Act 19v11-12

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      During this time Paul had the ability to heal. Acts is a transitional book, written primarily to Jews to explain why the kingdom of God did not come upon the earth. After Paul reached Rome he could no longer heal (Philippians 2.25-27; 1 Timothy 5.23; 2 Timothy 4.20). Paul stated these gifts would end in 1 Corinthians 13. God still heals but He doesn’t use men. We are to pray for healing but the gift of healing has ceased.

  41. Dawn Sobczak says:

    How active is satan during this age of grace? What is he allowed to do? Does satan have any power over the true believers ?
    Thank you

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      He is the god of this world who blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4.4). He can hinder ministry (2 Thessalonians 2.18) and tempt believers (1 Corinthians 7.5; 2 Corinthians 2.11; Ephesians 6.12). Satan is the one running the governments of the world. Satan tries to hinder belief and destroy the testimony of believers. His strategic target is Israel and anyone who supports them. Why do all the nations in the UN vote against Israel? Satan. Why does Islam want to destroy all the Jews? Satan.

  42. Vanessa says:

    Hello Don, I hope this finds you well. I understand the sign gifts are not for today. Do we receive gifts and if so can you direct me to the scriptures. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. Yes. They include, administration, leadership, discernment, mercy, evangelism, exhortation, pastor, teaching, faith, giving, serving, ministering, wisdom. Please see Romans 12.6-8; 1 Corinthians 12.28-30; Ephesians 4.11-13. God is able to use natural talents in concert with the Holy Spirit to serve God and minister to the Body of Christ.

      • Bobbi says:

        Two questions…
        We know that the apostolic gifts have ceased as they were. How do we know what our gift(s) are for sure?
        The other question is about women. In one place it says there is no difference between Jew and gentiles, male or female, but he states absolutely that women are to be silent in the service, which I have become settled about that, which was hard as I ran a sales office for 25 years lol. Do these gifts even apply to women? Now it seems I am learning how to be quiet, which is charming when it happens :-)
        God is so good! Just want to get your view on this.
        Thank you.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          God has given each of us personality and abilities. When we become a Christian, He take uses our abilities and transforms us to serve Him. Male and female are equal in Christ, but functional differences remain. God man woman for man. Our role in God’s strategic plan is to participate in resolving the angelic conflict and the problem of evil. The angelic host observe us in this capacity. That is why Paul wrote what he did in 1 Corinthians 11. Job was a test case in this matter as we all are. Man is male and female according to Genesis 1.27. Each sex makes a unique but complementary contribution to God’s glory.

          • Bobbi says:

            Ok. The whole covering on her head I just don’t get except maybe the custom of the day, and to be modest and wholesome is our duty to God and we want to. Paul said for women to learn at home, but he never addressed learning if ones husband isn’t a believer, and how we are to address false teaching and such in a church situation.
            It says to stay in the calling you are in when your saved. Does this mean the church you are in? I wasn’t attending at all when I came to Christ. I have no idea of a church even with the beliefs I now have, nor have I been able to find one, but if I went to the church I used to go to which is church of Christ I’d have to refute doctrine. There is no way I could do otherwise. I am sorrowful about church. There is a lot of false teaching.

            The angelic conflict I get as far as it is stated, with what things have been given me to study.
            Thank you.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              These are sound and difficult questions. Each of us has to be guided by the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit in making wise decisions in our particular circumstance. God looks upon the heart and if we desire to follow Him, He will guide us. I agree about churches, false teaching, etc. It is sad and frustrating to see such misunderstanding and ignorance. Jesus looked upon the multitude and saw sheep without a shepherd. Things have not changed. Satan is the god of this world and deception increases daily. But we have the victory through Christ and look for Him as our blessed hope.

    • Michael DeWitt says:

      Hi Vanessa,

      Don pointed out all the Gifts listed in scripture in a previous post. I wanted to add that, we are not limited to one Gift. Though the spirit decides and dispenses these gifts, it is up to us to learn proficiency in their use. I would also add that IMO, there is one gift among these that no Christian should be without, and that is the Gift of Discernment.

  43. Jeanne says:

    Don, I have so many questions. I now call myself a Christian, a follower of Christ. Many people think I’m crazy when I say I’m following The Holy Spirit, so now I say I’m following my consciou. I was born a Catholic, (never really reading the bible. The last 10 yrs. a Baptist. The last 7 yrs a very Faithful follower of Jesus Christ. I can feel The Holy Spirit guiding me, Gods love surrounding me. So many miracles have happened in the last 5-6 yrs. Some say the bible was written for the Jew’s we live in the age of “grace” I know this is true but if we are Christians we have to live it. We fall sin, ask forgiveness(some say once we accept Christ we don’t have to tell Him we are sorry any more) I ask The Holy Spirit to direct me. Some say I’m wrong. I want Our Father, Son & Holy Spirit to know. God has done everything for me, from knowing what a sinner I am & creating me anyway. He gave me free will I give it back. His Only Son died for me. I have so many questions, am I on the right site?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thank you. The Lord saved us to become conformed into His image (Romans 8.29). We all fail but we are to learn from our failures. We live under grace and have liberty (Romans 6.14; Galatians 5.1) but Liberty is not license. Love enable obedience. Read Paul. He is our example for living the Christian life (1 Corinthians 11.1).

  44. becky says:

    Hi Don,
    I heard a guy today mention that the Holy Spirit is for everybody in the world, not just Christians. That the Holy Spirit is trying to reach everyone. He claims to be a believer himself. Would like your thought on this, just never heard this kind of statement but in thinking about it, it kinda makes sense. thanks.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Without knowing the context of his remark, it’s hard to comment on it. The Scriptures declare it is God’s will all be saved and the Holy Spirit has a role in this.

  45. John says:


    One question here: I have been around believers who have cast out demons from people. Since this cannot be done through fakery (impossible in these cases), emotionalism (no power), or demonic activity (Matthew 12:26), how do think it could have been done?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      I am skeptical. Paul never wrote anything about casting out demons. He wrote about many things and that we are in a spiritual warfare with the powers of Satan. If demonic possession and casting out demons was something believers have to confront Paul would have provided instruction.

      • John says:

        I’m not really referring to Paul, but just in general. You had said that the things mentioned in Mark 16:15 had also ceased with the completed Word of God, so I was just wondering how it could still happen. I can understand how healing could still happen without someone having the gift of healing, but how can demons be cast out without God being the author?

        I’m not saying people go looking for it all the time, but I have known some to exorcise demons from people. How could they do it?

  46. Roger Spielmann says:

    Just a quick note on this discussion. I agree that Paul would have instructed them about such things. My question is: how are we to understand John 14:12? “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jesus’ earthly ministry was to Israel. He spoke these words to Jews. Different programic operating rules were in place then than today. For example, the next verse reads, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Obviously, that do not happen today. Why? The answer is that we live in the program known as the Church which did not exist when Jesus spoke those words. The operating rules for us were revealed by the risen Lord to Paul who communicated them to us.

  47. Polly says:

    I’m very curious on how God showed you you’d been deceived. Just by understanding his word in a new light? If your husband was a pastor how did he not know when he spoke in tongues that it wasn’t from God at that moment?

  48. Vanessa says:

    Hello Polly. I am not sure who the question is addressed to but as I seem to be the only lady here who speaks of her husband who was a pastor I am going to assume its for me.

    Whilst we fellowshiped under the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement we always new that things did not add up. A year before we found the truth of rightly dividing the word we had already begun to question tongues and tithing till we finally came to realise that we had been phoney Christians and admitted it to our friends who were/are still tongue talking. As of today we have lost all our friends barring one but have gained so many more through long distance relationships.

    My husband admits now that he was never called into the ministry but it was a popular thing to say “God called me into the ministry.” Charismatically brain washed. He spoke tongues only as a private prayer language as did I. We squirm when we think of how silly we had sounded. But we have moved on and without tongues have grown in leaps and bounds unlearning so much. Looking back tongues does not draw you closer to God. It does not set you apart. It is not a sign that you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. It is not a gift as it did not serve us or the church at all. Now we sin less but are not sinless. Something happened to us when we began to study the word of God for ourselves and never in all our tongue talking life have we experienced this. Answering your last question may I say this. It was not from God as tongues has ceased according to Paul when he said in 1 Cor 13 verse 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. Ask any tongue talking person what does that verse mean and they wont be able to tell you correctly. In short my husband and I were fooling ourselves when we spoke it and we admit it to all. Take care. xxx

  49. Refreshingwind says:

    Dear Vanessa, Paul’s discourse on love in 1 Cor 13 is not to say speaking in tongues is evil or bad. He was simply prioritizing. All things must be done out of love. Love must be the conduit by which we do all things in the faith even as Galatians 5:6 admonishes us that our faith must work by love. That said, I am truly happy you and your husband were true to yourselves and abandoned your phoniness. That notwithstanding though the real thing is there. Tongues has not ceased. When cessationist read 1 Cor 13:10, they fail to read all the way to verse 13 also which tells us when the perfect will come. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known”. 1 Cor 13:12. when the canon was completed did believers see face to face? And who is the scriptures even talking about seeing face to face? Let us peruse the scriptures with care and not simply throw the baby out with the bath water. There are many who are phony and fake but not all are. Most important thing is as you said you are growing but do not be quick to call what God is really doing phony or demonic (I’m not saying you are, just a caution). Grace to all who read.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Yours is the basic response of nonsecessionists. While 1 Corinthians 13 is not an easy passage, it is clear communication gifts–tongues, knowledge, and prophecy have ceased. There is no need for them since we have the completed Scriptures. Paul only mentioned tongues in one letter: 1 Corinthians. He gave strict regulations on their practice. I have never been in or heard of a church that practices tongues that follows these regulations (1 Corinthians 14). If tongues were important in one’s walk with Christ Paul would have written much more about them in his letters. It should also be noted the Corinthians were Paul’s most immature and carnal church. I think the majority who think tongues are valid wish to have a closer relationship with Christ and believe tongues facilitates this. But that was not their purpose. Paul instructed us how we are to grow in Christ: through His word, particularly through his letters which are TO us, and controlled by the Holy Spirit. For believers who love Christ through understanding His word and living holy lives, a desire for tongues fades away just as an adult loses his desire to play with tinker toys or paper dolls.

    • Vanessa says:

      Hello Refreshingwind, Thank you for your concern and mail. I see that Don has replied to you through the word so there is nothing much I can add. I don’t think tongues is phoney I know it is. And this has nothing to do with God. I have seen demonic men who speak in tongues and I have witnessed well meaning Christians who speak in tongues and thats where I would like to leave this discussion. Take care.

  50. Elaine says:

    Hi Don, thanks for this study and your wonderful site, I really appreciate it.

    I’m studying 1 Corinthians at the moment and am just up to Chapter 14.
    I originally read your article in 2014 but as “Signs” have cropped up whilst reading Corinthians I’ve gone back into your notes to have another look to see what you’ve said for clarification.

    Regarding tongues – I was wondering if you had a view about the translator’s adding of the word “unknown” in the KJV? It appears at the beginning of Chapter 14 and occurs several times in this chapter when tongues is used in the singular, i.e “tongue”. Have you any insight as to why they may have added it? Is there a difference between an “unknown” tongue and that of a “known” tongue, i.e a language, as the word in the Greek seems to be the same according to the list of references you have very helpfully provided.

    Hope my query is clear and I look forward to any help you could provide on this issue.

    Many thanks.

    Elaine from England.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The translators added “unknown” based on the context. An “unknown” tongue is one not understood (cf. 1 Corinthians 14.9). Paul’s point is that unless a language is understood it is worthless in terms of edification of the Church.

  51. Elaine from England says:

    Aaah, get it! I appreciate your help Don, that’s much clearer now – thank you so much!

  52. Bobbi says:

    Here is an example of what I mean. Compare these two scriptures, in kjv.
    In Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” So here it shows that the “power from on high” is the ‘promise from the Father =Devine gift=power.
    Acts 1:4-5
    4 And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.
    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
    Here is “the gift of the Father” = Devine gift, NOT the giver himself. There is no definite article on Pneuma Hagios in this scripture, is about what He is giving.
    Acts 2:4
    “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
    This verse is a good example. As just Bible readers we would look at this passage as the Holy Ghost himself. But in the greek there is no “the” which is the definite article. Thusly it actually reads ” And they were filled with all Spirit Holy and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving to utter forth to them. ” Thus this denotes the gifts or power from on high that was promised of the Father. It also separates the gifts from the giver. It shows both in the same passage.
    I hope you can see what I’m thinking here.
    The problem as I see it is that we can tend to roll all things Holy Spirit into one. But the Holy Spirit designed the word. So there is a reason.
    Thus if we can see the difference it is for our revelation of what is written for us to understand.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      I’m not sure I understand you point. A Greek noun does not require a definite article to be definite. Greek has no indefinite article and sometimes nouns are definite apart from the article. Paul wrote we were baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ. The HS is the baptizer. But Christ is said to be the baptizer at Pentecost (e.g., Matthew 3.11). What we do know is what happened at Pentecost was not the birth of the Church but the fulfillment of prophecy. Paul made it clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit he revealed results in our being members of His body. That did not occur at Pentecost.

  53. Bobbi says:

    Thank you. So are you saying there is no difference in what is meant when “The” is placed before pneuma hagios in Greek, or if there is no “the”? The way I am understanding Bullinger there is a difference in 3 ways it is expressed.
    1. pneuma hagion
    2. the pneuma hagion
    3. The pneuma the hagion
    The obvious difference to me is that sometimes it speaks of the power and gifts and sometimes of Himself.
    So far, it appears that the Lord gives gifts, and then after Paul we learn that it is God Himself and the Lord Jesus who work “in” us. Phil.2:13, Romans 8:9-11

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      A vast literature exists on the use of the Greek article. Sometimes it is present with the noun to make it definite and sometime a noun is definite without it. Generally, a noun with the article draws attention to the identity of the noun (the article was thought to be weak demonstrative, i.e., this, that) and a noun without the article emphasizes its quality. But the determinative factor is always context. See the article: for some considerations.

      • Bobbi says:

        Thank you.
        Good article! I have had some trouble because of the exceptions to the rule, he lists in the book. The best thing I think is to read the scripture in context. That is what started me out on this study. God is awesome and the possibilities are limitless.
        The words used “fell upon” and ” in” do make me wonder if there is a difference. As much as I love looking the Greek it’s hard to make sure especially this subject, because it’s about God Himself. Don’t want to get it wrong.
        I think you get what I was trying to figure out but it’s not so simple is it.

  54. Bobbi says:

    Good morning doctrine.
    Ok having just read the baptism article, it is easy too see what the difference is. Just to check my thoughts,
    1. Jesus baptized at Pentecost as part of His ministry to Israel. Thus the miracles, because they expected such signs if one came from God. These who were saved, were saved under the Kingdom.
    2. God the Holy Spirit baptized us today. We know this because of
    1 Cor. 12:13, and Titus 3:5-7
    Thus probably why signs stopped is because of the postponement of the Kingdom.
    Interesting. :)
    Thank you.

  55. James says:

    I have spent almost 35 years studying the subject “Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and in fire…What does God’s Word say?”. In general, I agree with “doctrine”. I wrote a 200 page book (in portuguese) which was published in 2007, and needs a second volume, especially to prove completely that the “temporary” gifts (1Cor 12:8-10) were abolished, at the most, by the year 70 d.C. If you read carefully 1Cor 13, you will find three “types” of gifts mentioned: temporary (those gifts which were close to being terminated), permanent (faith and hope – which will be abolished with the rapture of the saints when we see Christ face to face), and the eternal gift, love, which abides throughout eternity. Just one illustration: A careful reading of Mark 16:17-20 (verses 17-18 verbs in the future tense) shows the temporary gifts (given to confirm the preaching and teaching of New Testament doctrine) had ceased when he wrote his Gospel (vs 20 – past tense, the apostles where still preaching, but the signs were in the past). This is my first visit to the site, interesting, but to time consuming to fit into my present ministry of church planting, conference speaker, author, radio, etc.
    Thanks for the interest in the study of God’s Word – Learn greek, read the Word – word by word, pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the Truth, and run from anyone who says that the sign gifts are for today – “the only “SIGN” we need is the written Word of God. Just for sarcasam consider Mathew 12:38-39

  56. Derrick says:

    Hi Don, I’m wondering if you could touch on ways in which God may speak to us today. Do you feel that it’s clear in Scripture that His word is complete and we are to walk by faith and not by sight (feelings, nudges, promptings, through others, circumstances, dreams, etc.)? If feelings and the like are not from the Holy Spirit, where do they originate? I guess that it just seems that since He is love, He would still delight in working through the Spirit in various ways. What do you think?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      We live by faith but there is no formula. God uses people, circumstances, feelings, etc. to guide us. The Word and Holy Spirit are the governors. The Holy Spirit will never guide one contrary to God’s Word.

  57. Sue says:

    Hi Don,

    How do you see prophecy working in the Body of Christ with regards to Ephesians 4:11?

    ‘ and He gave some as prophets ‘

    What will the prophecy be concerning?

    Also do you have a view with regards to ‘an end harvest’ and a healing of a land in the church age?

    Many thanks for your time.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Apostles and prophets were in the early days of the Church. These offices have passed away because the Scriptures are complete. The Church is a heavenly entity. It has no land. The healing of land will occur in the Messianic kingdom, when Christ rules as King on earth.

  58. Daniel says:

    Mr Samdahl, Good day.. I have read many of your articles and I have really learnt from them. By the way, I’m 16 years old… Since we are partakers of the blessings of Abraham by faith, which of his blessings was referred to? I think you should do an article on ‘The Holy Communion’ Also, please check this men and their prophecies on YouTube and give me your feedback – Apostle Johnson Suleiman and Prophet Shepherd Bushiri. God bless you richly…

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      We experience the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant in a twofold manner. One is that with the establishment of the Abrahamic covenant, all blessing would be mediated through the covenant people, Israel. Paul met that specific requirement as the apostle of the Gentiles since he was a Jew. The other is simply that our blessings are based upon faith alone. Abraham was saved by faith alone is a therefore a prototype of God’s blessings to God’s heavenly people, the Church. I have to say, I am leery of any who call themselves apostles or prophets. There are no apostles or prophets today. Thanks for sharing your age. It’s great to see young people interested in God and the Scriptures.

  59. Austin says:

    Please explain 1 COR 1. If Paul does not want us to lack in any gift as we wait for the revealing of our Lord, Jesus Christ then why would the gifts have ceased? Please define these “gifts” Paul doesn’t want us to lack. Thanks for the articles and your hard work. I just need to have this cleared up.

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